This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of the site attempts to provide answers for the most frequently asked questions that occur.
There are two broad types of questions:
1. about theatre generally
2. about this website, Theatre Australia
If you don't find your answer contained here in the FAQ and a search of the site doesn't turn up an answer, please post your question in the most appropriate forum or use the feedback form.
This section of the FAQ attempts to answer frequently asked questions about theatre in general.
Selection of tips, tricks and other information for actors about acting.
The following is some info on how to audition for things, tips and hints, etc.
Online Resources for Monologues.
These Aren't My Shoes - Monologues - http://notmyshoes.net/monologues/
Monologue Arhive (beware of pop-ups) - http://www.monologuearchive.com/
These are just a few resources found when doing Web Searches. If you find a broken link, please leave a comment.
An accent can make or break a production, seriously. It can add a sense of location when done well and is overly distracting if done badly.
I have to admit I have always found it easy to pick up accents (sometimes so easily I get them mixed up!) and I guess that is from years of impersonating characters off the radio and Tv. Pretty much all of the productions I have done, I have been able to get away with my natural speech or a slight English lilt. It wasn't until a couple of years ago when I did a production requiring an American Accent. I didn't even think about it. I just did it. The reviews however caught me off-guard. All were quite favourable but one in particular stuck out. It made the comment "His gentle American soap-star accent stapled neatly to him and never slipping (as indeed did all of the cast's accents remained impeccably pinned to their lips, never seen such a convincing lot) he engenders our sympathies with his torn plight." I for the first time realised the impact of a good accent.
But what exactly was it that I and my fellow cast members were doing to accomplish this? So I read up on the subject. I was initially surprised by the technical aspects of accents but then it all made sense.
In a global sense, there are two theatrically accepted and distinct English Accents, Received Pronunciation (Common British) and General American. For Australian Theatre we have General Australian. Underneath these, you have the many derivatives and subcultures. Each accent is placed physically in a different area of the head when spoken and will use the lips, tongue and jaw in completely different ways. Some accents would sound letters that weren’t there and then would drop those same letters when they were.
It really is quite a complicated sounding issue but surprising easy to pick up. I have found that once someone has developed a general feel for the sound of certain words, they can quickly adapt their speech without much effort. I was recently asked to help a few actors with American Accent development. One in particular had a rather broad Australian accent and they were worried that they would not be able to do it.
The 2 main differences between American and Australian accent are;
1) Australians tend to speak with their lips spread across and Americans are more conservative preferring an up and down spread.
2) Australians form their words mostly in the back of the throat while Americans are higher and more central, just the below the nasal cavity. For comparison, Received Pronunciation if located toward the front of the mouth and uses minimal movement of the lips in any direction.
Needless to say, once this actor exposed themselves to an instructional course of American Accents, they were able to complete the next rehearsal almost flawlessly. Quite an achievement in itself, but it just goes to highlight the ease that such a task can be accomplished with drive and dedication.
If you liked this or found it useful, please vote for it.
Finding a good casting agent, what may make one agency better than another and most importantly maintaining a good relationship with your agent and their clients - your employers - is an important topic prompting plenty of debate and comment on this site.
By all means, ask questions and seek advice about agents but consider the following important information first.
Updated 15th June 2011 - Initially posted on The Prompt Copy.
Updated 08th Sep 2011 - Alliance Web Site - refresh of Agent lists.
Anyone thinking of finding professional work in the performance industry has basically two primary choices; find an agent or be your own agent. Both have their pros and their cons, and can leave you high and dry if you don't employ some judicious care.
If you go it alone, then good luck to you. You will need to establish all of your own contacts, develop your industry reputation from nothing and hard-sell yourself on a daily basis. That's not to say it is impossible. It has been done and there are many out there who say that it is the better option. For most of us, starting from scratch is simply ludicrous so we flop open the Yellow-pages and let our fingers do some of the walking.
Finding an Agent who will represent you means not having to make as much effort in finding the desired pathways and contacts into your chosen profession. Please note that I said "as much effort" as opposed to "don't worry guys, they do everything for you." You will still need to learn the art of self-marketing and not-quitting. You will also have to be very judicious in who is going to represent you. You can't just walk into the first Agent you find, sign-up, then sit back and wait for the jobs to come rolling in. That is just not the way it works.
"Isn't it?" I hear some of you ask. Of course not.
Firstly, what area are you looking to get into? Film, TV, Theatre, Musicals, Opera, Comedy?
What types of roles? Minor and supernumerary roles, or are you going whole hog for only the leading man and lady?
What geographical spread are you looking to cover? Your local backyard or maybe you want to go globally? Probably best to start aiming a bit lower.
What experience do you already have and are you prepared to seek out more? (The answer to this should always be lots and yes.)
That is before you even walk in the door to a prospective agent. Once you have a better understanding of what it is you want from an agent, the better armed you will be when you start calling them. Yes calling them. Now you need to find out more about them and see if they are compatible to your requirements.
There are lots of them. Really. They cover all different aspects of the industry and come with different extras or pit-falls. Be wary. There are opportunists and profiteers out there who like to take advantage of our industry and the large numbers of hopeful young men and women all so keen to "make it big" as it were.
Your first port of call should be the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance as technically, they are your Union Representative. They fight for your rights and pay rates, and they fight hard. I would suggest that anyone who is seriously considering a professional career in this industry to register with the union as they can be a vital crutch. Here you will find a list of agents who are registered with the Union. Mind you, as the disclaimer on the site says, this is not an endorsement of the agent as the union cannot verify and validate every agency that is out there. It does substantially improve your chances of missing those more dodgy deals, however you will still need to do a little research.
Now you have your list of potential representatives, you need to start putting the feelers out. Make a few calls and inquire about what services they actually provide, what the process is in joining up and so forth. Some questions that may be a useful start might be;
How many people do you already have on the books? This will give you an indication of where you may fall in the pile. A Large number of existing clients may indicate high popularity of the agency which is good but may also imply that you could easily become lost in the numbers.
How long have they been running the business? When was the last change of management? Long term performance is usually a good sign of market strength. That is not to say that a newer agency is not worth a shot. You can never be too certain.
What shows/productions have they actually cast for? Are the productions ones that you know about yourself and if so, this may be a good way to validate what they tell you.
Do they have a recommended photographer? Find out who it is and you may be able to do a little research there also.
Maybe they offer training services. Are they accredited? What is the cost and so on.
These are just sample questions. Do try and think of further questions to ask, after all, you are asking these people to represent you in a tight and cut-throat business. In a real sense, you are hiring them.
Once you feel you got enough out of the agent themselves, it's time to do a little research of your own. Try and "Google" the agent of the net. See what comes up. Sometimes you might be surprised. Quite often I find an agent's name attached to an actor bio for a high-profile production. That is usually a pretty good sign. On other occasions I have found the agent being slammed and accused of this, that and the other. Do take what you find with a pinch of salt. Some of the negative comments may be simply one or two angry members of the public venting their frustrations. Then again...
Finding nothing or very little does nothing either way. Maybe they're too new to have anything flow through to the net. Then again, if they have been around for a while, why is there little about?
Another good source of information are related discussion groups or forums. A very good example would be the Independent Theatre Association Web Site Theatre Australia. There have been several discussions on that site already that have focused on topics such Finding a Good Agent and some of the pitfalls to watch out for.
Again, you do need to exercise caution when reading these forums. They are open to everyone and anyone, which can lead to all sorts of misleading information. My rule of thumb is that if it sounds constructive them it usually is.
Lastly, talk to others in the business. Who is their agent? Would they recommend them?
This is a hot issue and I wanted to deal with it independent of other things. In the UK, it is illegal for a casting agent to charge an application fee to prospective clients. Technically that is also true for Australia. Anyone who charges for simply signing onto the books should be very seriously questioned. Sometimes they may try to hide the fee in things like compulsory photo shoots, Workshops and so forth. This is not say that you should steer completely clear of these places, but just be aware that there are other agents out there who would work just as hard without the initial fee. Here is what the Alliance (MEAA) say about Payment.
Under the Entertainment Industry Act 1989, an agent can only charge the following percentages of a performers salary as
1. for an engagement involving film, television or electronic media - 10%;
2. for live theatre, live musical or variety performances - 10% for any period up to five weeks and then 5% for any period after;
3. in all other cases - 10%.
If you are asked to pay for such things as Photo Shoots, Workshop Attendance, etc, then ask if they are optional. For example, if you already have a portfolio of Photos, would that suffice and negate the fee? Is workshop attendance optional to joining the Agency? If these things are requirements, then I would seriously question the motivation of the Agent in question. Are they seriously interesting in finding the next big thing, or are they more concerned about getting what they can out of you in the short-term? In this industry, you can't really afford to take such risks with an agent.
Remember this very important fact: You are 'hiring' them to look for work for you. Just like an employment agency. The main difference between an employment agency and a casting agency is that you will be constantly looking for performance work as opposed to that one dream job. A casting agent takes a percentage from any monies that you may earn and that's how you pay for their services and not through up-front payments. The more jobs you get and the bigger the job, the more they get paid also. It is then in their best interest to help you find work.
After all that exhaustive work, you should now feel you know enough to make your final choice. If it feels right to you, then do it. Go in, sign up, shake hands. They are now providing a service to you to find you work in your chosen field. Read any contract material very carefully for any previously missed details like commission amounts, their promise to you, etc, etc.
I would also strongly recommend that at this point (if you haven't already done so) you think about joining the Union. If for any reason the agent turns out to be a dud, the union can be there to give you some support. Without that membership, you will be on your own.
They have even provided a Sample Contract for you to follow which clearly outlines the expectations of you, the actor, and the agent.
That's the dream is it not? I have the talent. I have the Agent. Now I can wait for the offers. A Dream, nothing more.
It's now that the hard work begins. Remember I said you have hired the Agent? Think about it. You are the manager of your career, not them. Stay involved with the industry, read the mags, get the gossip, make contacts in those fields you are interested in and when you hear of new ventures, talk with your agent about getting into the mix. Get them to find out what they can and if they can submit your application.
Invite your agent reps to see your work. Even though you have asked them to find you work, what can they possibly tell future producers and directors about you? "Well their CV looks good." They need to see you in action. They love complimentary tickets. Be all too aware that you are not the only one they are working for. You will have to compete with all the other hopefuls on their books for a portion of their time.
If they run workshops or training services, go to them. Get them to notice you and think that you may be the next big thing for them. You need to keep reminding them that you exist and that you are keen, eager and willing to try anything.
Only once you have established yourself and producers are seeking you out will ever be able to even think of resting. Sadly by that point, you'll be working so much that you won't have the time.
Additional and IMPORTANT notes.
It is a Hot Topic - How do I find an Agent, a Good one, a Legit one, one who wont rip me off...
It has been discussed at length across the internet in great detail by people with little, some and lot's of experience.
Attached is the Australian Actor's Unions thoughts on finding an agent. This is the official statement on the matter.
PDF Extracted from the Alliance Web site Feb 2010.
While the document states it is for NSW, the relevance is National.
There are a number of threads on agencies that have become notorious and controversial. Please refer to them before starting a new one, as there is lots of information and opinions there. Also please read Labrug's great FAQ on what a good agent is, how to get one, and what to expect. (I would add that there are any number of threads on other agents, and you should do a search to find them; this lists only the big controversies that have been made over the years, and does not include ALL of the threads on the quality or background of different agents)
I would also add for our more naive or young members: please check any websites before signing up for them. There are a number of sites that appear to give you access to jobs, auditions, casting agents, and so forth, but there are plenty that both: take your money and do nothing; and present you with adult and/or suspicious content. Do your research first, before joining a website such the one discussed here:
Threads on ATM:
Threads on Blackbox Management:
Threads on MBC (run by the same guy who ran NOTM, see below):
Threads on NOTM:
These are just some of the threads... if you find more, please add them. But I implore you, let's not start any new discussions, if only because they are bound to be removed for 'libel' (see the blackbox thread if you don't believe me!).
I can't claim credit for this but I have been given permission to pass it on...
If you are looking to do a course and a school guarantees you an Agent during the run of the course, then you have to ask yourself why in this climate when work is so sparce would an Agent want to take on anyone who is in training without having seen their work first? That Agent's reputation is at stake. There are many Agents out there, but a good Agent will not take on an actor until they have seen the actor's work and feel totally secure in the fact that they can get work out there for you. So if a school can guarantee you an Agent, then you have to ask yourself a number of things:-
These are also questions you should ask when a school suggests only one particular photographer to take your headshots. Are there kickbacks in place?
There are many Charlatans out there, so called 'professionals', professing to have what it takes to get you a job - offering actors quick fixes for showreels and quick roads to success...but please be warned! There are NO quick fixes. Anyone who offers you advice for a price...or a chance to be seen by Casting Consultants and Directors when you're not ready...or advice and suggestions on how to make it in America, or offer you a showreel without taking into consideration what you have to lose...then they are exploiting you. Casting Consultants and Directors who are being paid for their expertise can enlighten you on how THEY work and what THEY want, but THEY cannot solve your acting problems or advise you on how to fix things, or improve your performance. So basically, they can't teach you to act.
Just remember, exposure doesn't always give you better opportunities...but better training does.
Disclaimer : This Blog has been written with a particular WA flavour, however other readers may find some of the information useful.
For those of you how may not know, there are two types of Casting Services;
1. Casting Agents
Casting Agents represent the 'Actor'. It is through an agent that an actor will most likely learn of new projects and audition prospects. As long as the Agent has the right contacts, and any legit one should, they will be notified through either Casting Consultants or Production Companies.
2. Casting Consultants
Effectively, these are Casting Agents for the Production Companies. They are regularly used to act as a go between for the PC, contacting the local Casting Agencies, Screening possible talent and then consulting with the Director to cull the list down.
These Consultants do not represent actors except through a third-party Agency, or Manager.
JC Casting in particular has a very useful resource for Perth Talent which I think everyone should check out.
* Please note that JC Casting does not endore agents listed through this link
Other Casting Consultants around Australia -
NSW/Vic - http://www.mullinars.com.au/consult.html
Eastern States and New Zealand http://www.maurafay.com.au/casting/casting_frameset.html
Clearing out a few folders of junk and found this older document. While time has passed, the message is still pertinent.
Survey reveals ‘shocking’ fee results
Three-quarters of people paying up-front fees to agents in the entertainment industry receive no work from them in the following 12 months and in more than 90% of cases find that they fail to live up to expectations, according to The Stage’s nationwide survey, completed this week.
Our research, prompted by the Department for Trade and Industry’s warning that some agencies are using hard-sell tactics to persuade people to pay high fees for the provision of ‘services’ which never materialise, also reveals cases of performers being charged up to £2,000 for the privilege of having their details included in alleged casting directories or for compulsory photographic services.
When up-front fees are charged, on average, aspiring actors, extras and models are asked to pay £104 when they join up with an agency but only see two days’ work a year in return for their investment.
Up-front fees - those charged in advance of an agency finding performers work - were banned in April 2004.
The only exceptions are where the charge is a “reasonable” estimate of the cost of producing a publication such as a casting book or where such a book is the only work-finding service provided.
Our survey, which was completed by more than 700 Stage readers, reveals almost half are still being charged a fee when they join an agency and that 63% of those are told this is purely for registration purposes - a clear breach of the law.
Where a charge has been made for inclusion in a directory, the vast majority of people have also been told that this charge is compulsory, which goes against industry codes of practice.
Some 36% of people were also asked to pay even more money for photographic services provided by the agency, with the majority - 64% - saying they were illegally told that they must use such services in order to join up.
Broadcasting union Bectu described the results as “shocking”. National official Spencer MacDonald said: “We thought we knew the situation was tough out there but we never dreamt it was as bad as this, with three-quarters of people getting no work at all.
“We weren’t aware of the scale of the problem of people being charged money.”
He added that the DTI’s proposed solution of introducing a “cooling-off” period, during which people could demand their money back if they believe they have been scammed by a bogus agent, was unlikely to fully address the problem.
“We need to look at the charges themselves and see whether they need capping or abolishing completely,” he said.
“There is no magical answer but we are pleased the government has signalled they want a discussion about this and the results of this survey will add weight to the arguments the unions will be putting forward.”
Matt Payton, Equity’s research and parliamentary officer, said it was particularly worrying that 61% of respondents were unaware of the law on up-front fees and that three out of four did not know who to go to for help if they felt they had been ripped off.
The vast majority had not heard of The Agents’ Association, National Association of Supporting Artistes Agents, National Entertainment Agents’ Council or Personal Managers’ Association.
“There also probably needs to be a more concentrated effort to ensure agents are more aware of their responsibilities under the law,” he said.
For the time being, the advice from NASAA and others is to avoid agencies that demand money before securing you employment.
“Most legitimate agencies are happy to take their fee out of your first day’s work,” says Sarah Dickinson, NASAA chair. “My advice is not to pay fees up front.”
What the DTI says
“We are concerned to learn that people are apparently being charged illegal fees for registering and we are grateful for The Stage’s help in responding to our call for information on this very important issue.
“We are also concerned about hard-selling tactics to persuade would-be performers to pay high fees for services which don’t materialise and this is an area we have promised to tackle in our Success at Work paper.
“If any person feels they have been charged an illegal fee or that an agency has behaved improperly they should contact the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate on 0845 955 5105.”
“They boasted that they had provided roles for the BBC, Sky, ITV and all sorts of programmes. They stated that there were no ‘up-front fees’ but more of a membership fee, so in order to be represented it would cost you in the region of £199 for a year. It stated that once you parted with your money you would never look back as you would be inundated with offers. It also gave photos and success stories of normal everyday people who were on their way to ‘stardom’ through them, although I’ve never heard of them before or since.” - Vikki Slater
“I responded to an advert to go to a hotel to register to be a model/TV extra. I was told I was one of the lucky ones and was accepted, so I paid them £159 to take photos and introduce me to three other agencies, which I also had to pay separately to join, costing a total of nearly £500. I never had any work from them. I have taken the matter to the DTI and Trading Standards, as I felt I had been ripped off, but to no avail as work isn’t guaranteed and no law has been breached.” - SA
“I was taken on by an agency… within a couple of days they sent me to get a showreel done, as they said they had three castings for me. I went to get one done - this was organised by the agency. I paid £200 for the session and £45 for a copy for myself. I did not receive a copy, nor hear from the agency again. I called and left a lot of messages for the agency and also the man who did the showreel but nothing. I told no-one about this as I was embarrassed and thought no one would help as I had agreed to it all.” - Anon
“It annoys me that agencies call [up-front fees] a different name and they get away with it. More and more companies ask you to pay, even the traditional ones are doing it now. I don’t seem to get much work as I now refuse to pay them. It’s Catch 22.” - CN
“I was ‘spotted’ on Oxford Street by a model scout claiming he could get me lots of work. He took a photo and then told me to go to the website to check it out. I received a phone call the following day and he said he had work for me already and would I be interested. He said I needed to pay £100 up-front and then the work would come flooding.” - Christina Cooke
“I paid over £100 in representation fees, yet the agency has had no contact with me since then. I am doubtful that I will ever hear from them again.” - Anon
“In spite of the recent law, some casting agencies seem to justify up-front fees for photos and other costs, without the guarantee of any work. I responded to a local advertisement for actors and extras, went along to a hotel where there were numerous young girls prepared to fork out the required expenses to get on the agency’s books, unaware this was not the right practice.” - Anon
“It would seem that only by licensing entertainment agents, as happened in the past, can both the performer and the law be protected. The culture of celebrity is giving rise to greater exploitation of those seeking a brush with fame.” - Anon
“It was two months before my photo and details were put onto the website, and only because I chased them about it. Couldn’t get hold of them on the phone and in response to my polite e-mail questioning why this was the case, having paid them already, I received many unbelievably rude e-mails back. When I finally did speak to someone on the phone and demanded my money back they refused but at the mention that I would be taking this matter to the TV programme Watchdog, my photo miraculously appeared on the website the very next day. I am so pleased that these sort of crimes are now being recognised and action is being taken by you. It’s about time these crooks were shown for what they are. Thank you.” - CCH
“Performers are being exploited all the time as they are vulnerable and desperate for more work. There needs to be more education about authentic agencies and bad agencies in all training colleges, as many recent graduates are often the target for scams. The internet has sparked many new problems of control, including new scams on the web, for example ‘pay just £150 and we’ll make you a website that loads of people with view’, or ‘pay just £200 and we’ll shoot a showreel and edit it for you and it will get you loads of work’. These tools are useful but only if the actual material used is of a very high quality.” - MAS
I quite regularly get postings from a number of Job Web sites just so that that I can keep an eye on the job market for both personal and non-personal reasons. Quite often, I will see a posting from one of two (or three) "casting Agencies" calling for actors... Incidentally, these "Agencies" have been thoroughly examined and found wanting within the electronic halls of this very site, so I usually pay them little mind apart from saying a prayer that no-one falls for it but knowing someone might...
Today, I find a new "agent" posting calls for actors, claiming huge bucks if you join them. I will not mention their name and nor will I say where I saw it for that is not the point of this Blog. What I will say is that with a little judicious caution and research, you can quickly find a lot about an organisation proposing to legitimate.
Firstly. TALENT AGENTS DO NOT RECRUIT!!! Cannot stress this enough. Proper casting agents very rarely (if ever) advertise with slogans like "Extras required for film and TV earn up to $1500PW" or "FILM & TV Productions Require Actors, Extras, Models". They are Recruiting to get people onto their books? Not likely. They are more likely hoping you will be willing to part with some of your money on a dream. $200 from 20 people is $4000, and that's just for starters.
With so many hopefuls, wannabes and keenly passionate individuals, Legitimate agents do not need to recruit. More often than not, they are turning people away as their "books are full." These rather tempting slogans are simply that, misleading temptations, no better than SPAM! Treat any such posting in an electronic medium with extreme prejudice.
ADDED: 2012/Nov/06 Top five things to look for
Second. TALENT AGENTS DO NOT STREET CAST!!! By this I mean those "agents" that approach you in the street and spout a whole pile of patronising compliments and then ask you to join their agency. There are two kinds of people that do this - Perverts and Con-artists. By preying on the unsuspecting and hopeful ambitions of some random person, they lure them into something they do not expect. Let's face it, deep down, most of us want to be on TV...
If you are approached in such a manner, unless you are presented with VERY VERY VERY convincing credentials, walk away. Agents may approach you after having seen a production or a video clip that you were in, but if they do, it will be with far more professionalism than simply walking up to you out of the blue.
ADDED 9 June 2010: TALENT AGENCIES DO NOT COLD CALL!!! By this I mean they send you an email or call you, quite out of the blue, saying all warm-fuzzy things like "you're just what we are looking for" etc. If you fall for it, then you are what they are looking for. Legit Agents (or if you like Managers) will approach you through more official channels and no singular casting agent can rightly claim to have the advantage over any other agent. Under Australian Federal Union requirements, all Casting Agents have equal rights to all casting details and calls nation-wide.
Third. DO RESEARCH!!! Heard about a certain Talent Agent? Maybe saw an interesting posting somewhere? Could be legit? Sounds convincing? Then DO NOT AGREE TO ANYTHING until you have looked them up. (Note: if by asking for time to "think" they get agitated or even more pushy, that's a good sign to not bother at all.)
All companies need to be registered through the Australian (or relevant) business directory. In Australia we have http://www.search.asic.gov.au/ where you can do searches by ABN, ACN or Company Name. While this does not give you things like Company profiles, it can tell you some very important information about the company itself.
For example, the new company that I mentioned earlier is recruiting in Perth, however there is no company registered in Perth by that name. There are two close matches in different Eastern State locations. The information on both is extremely scant, and one looks like it is a new submission currently being reviewed. That doesn't leave a good impression.
Keep in mind that anyone can register a Business for a small fee so registration is no indication of honesty. There are minimal security checks performed - minimal in the fact that they are very much dependant on the often minimal details provided. However, the more legit a business is, the more willing they will be to provide details of their company.
In addition to this, search through the Internet for any comments or web sites that refer to the company. In my current case, there is nothing apart from the Job Pages that brought them to my attention. Again, a very bad sign.
Four. DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!!! True Agents don't need Hype to attract clients. They do well enough through word of mouth - Actors currently on their books telling friends - and other more silent methods. When you hear claims such as;
"You will be registered with agencies free of charge that cast for shows like:
Neighbors <-note the mis-spelling
You will also be put forward for castings with all the major films being shot in Australia."
- Taken from a recent posting 05/10/2009
Just remember that ALL AGENTS HAVE (or should have) EQUAL ACCESS TO ALL CASTING CALLS! So it doesn't matter who you are with, no agency should have an unfair advantage over another.
Five. KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!!! There are Casting Agents and there are Casting Consultants. Agents represent the Actors and Consultants represent Producers. The Producer/Director requests a cast, the Consultant confers with the Agents and the Agents contact the Actors.
I say this specifically as occasionally Casting Consultants will go to the general public. If they are not getting what they want from the agents, then they will make a more general request. However, these are not done through Job Sites and the like. Here I make the example of Jenni Cohen, one of two Casting Consultants in Perth, whom has posted legitimate casting requests on this very web-site. The difference with these postings are that they are very specific, descriptive and without all the Hype and Fanfare. They are specific opportunities not a general call for hopeful applicants.
Summary. Having an understanding of the nature of the business is a key aspect to not getting conned by it. Watch for the tricks and scam that are frequently pulled on so many unsuspecting individuals throughout the world. Acting is a profession that attracts the imagination of thousands of dreamers, and hundreds of schemers.
For more about Agents and how to find one, check here...
I regularly get Job Posts from a variety of On-line Career Services for various types of work which I then forward on to others and this site. This covers CASTING Calls or Agent Recruitment Drives.
I have yet to see a Casting Call or Recruitment Drive posted on-line that actually sounded legit!
You get plenty of Journos, Copywriters, Editors, Club Trivia Hosts, etc, etc that can all be confirmed very easily with the details provided in the ad itself. Then there is the occasional WANTED: Extras, Actors, Models, Commercial Faces & Promotional Staff type posts claiming all sorts of very impressive sounding details. (There is about 2 or three that make the regular rounds.)
Up until some time back, these very familiar posts all included details like Who was asking, and even provided contact details. Then after a spate of poor publicity, these still very familiar posts started appearing "anonymously," i.e. Without reference to anything that can be researched - Company Name, Contact Name, so forth.
Firstly, ACTING CASTING AGENCIES DO NOT ADVERTISE as a general rule. They don't need to. Most have a limited number of people they can have on their "books" and there are plenty of willing people out there to fill them. Why spend money advertsing when you have a constant stream of people coming in the door without it?
Second, when an on-line add of ANY kind is provided without company details or a contact name, or anything that can be researched, I have to ask what are they hiding? I find it particularly interesting that these adds that are soooo very similar to earlier versions which included these details now suddenly do not. I'll let you consider the reasons why this might be.
Third, these Calls are made with odd recurrence which makes it appear that they are either finding it hard to keep people on their books for more than a month or two (a bad sign in itself), or are simply not interested in actually finding you work, but getting numbers up. The question then begs, why get their numbers up? Well, if they are charging you upfront fees or mandatory expenses to "get on their books" then the more people they get paying, the more money they are making. Who needs to find you guys work when there's someone else willing to pay money for a dream?
A proper agent does not need to recruit, nor do they charge up-front fees like a club membership. Casting Agencies are like a temping, contract or job search agency. They find work for you and take a cut of your earnings as a finders fee. You do not pay anything up-front to these guys, and neither should you for a casting agent. This does not include legitimate additional services provided by the agent, but these should be optional. Things like a Photographer.
I have mentioned all this before and will from time to time repost to remind people of this. Tell your friends or anyone you meet who is also looking for employment as a performer.
Remember, research or the ability to research is your best weapon in avoiding scams and cons. The rule of Email Spam is : When in doubt, throw it out. Very good advice in this case also.
Look here for my FAQ about Agencies Advertising
Disclaimer: I do not include Casting Consultants in this evaluation whom may choose to post to public forums such as this one. Indeed I am personally gratified to see posts from one particular Perth Based Consultant whom recently used a large number of local Theatre Australia patrons in the filming of "Cloudstreet."
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics approximately 18% of Australians attended a theatre performance in the 12 months prior to an interview in 2002.
This post last updated 8 June 2011
EDIT: I used to host a list of links at my website for looking for Aussie work. The list had not been updated since 2006 and is likely about as useful as anything would be after five years. This list is now linked below at Theatre Australia (way at the bottom of the post). I hope it contains something useful; if not, please do your own legwork and update it yourself.
I used this list of links to scour the net for Australian theatre work for more than four years, and to produce content for my (now defunct) theatre publication. They cover a range of topics, as well as performance styles (circus, drama, improv, MT, etc.)
There's a whole bunch of links listed in the 'job hunting' category, divided by state. Those that are in the 'job hunting' category, but not divided by state, cover the whole country. There's also a small list of agents, plus a lot of unsorted links. There are also plenty of places to look for tech work, including a range of tech sites, production companies, theatre companies, and councils local to your area. There are additionally links for grants, funding, and other peak bodies, courses, etc.
I can recommend the following sites for ALL cities: Arts Hub Australia, QuietOnSet (both paid subscription, but well worth the money. You can check out some of the jobs available from the Arts Hub site in the news section on this site). These are probably the best two sites for job hunting. Arts Connect is another good one, which is more for calls for artists (ie. voluntary stuff), but it's for free.
The site mentioned as 'The Program' has been gone since early '08 The Program is a government run site, which doesn't often has auditions, but is aimed at youth, and is an excellent resource for grants, funding, and other events.
Many of the professional companies advertise roles on their own sites as well, so even though it's time consuming to go through them, you will find it's a much more affordable way of finding news of jobs than to sign up with the paid-subscription sites (not a guarantee of finding out about all of the jobs out there, but a good start).
You should also sign up with the many free online newsletters that are around, or regularly read arts/theatre/screen news sites. They are a wealth of information, and if you find out that a show is being produced, or someone's gotten a grant, you can then consider contacting the relevant people and seeing if there's any auditions or jobs going.
Local newspapers are also good, especially The Age's A2/Saturday Arts section. For the most part, jobs advertised will be for amateur groups, profit-share, or for council jobs.
For the most part, auditions aren't advertised, so your best bet is to get an agent. However, the sites listed above will help you to do your own search. The same goes with tech work, and a good way to get in the door is to do voluntary work with a local group, venue, festival, or performance. Signing up with a large crew-based production company (like Showtech in Melbourne) is a good way to start.
Please note: the links do NOT cover amateur groups, only professional companies, and ONLY for theatre. For a screen auditions site, try Screen Hub. For amateur auditions, check the auditions page on this site, or contact the companies listed here in the companies section. Some links may also be out of date.
While there is no easy way to learn what a dodgy advertisement looks like (it's mostly a gut instinct), here's some tips:
A good ad will have some verifiable information about the advertiser, the work available, and some basic details about who to contact and whether or not it is paid work.
Do your research: if you haven't heard about the person or company before, look them up. Ask around. If you feel wary about the job/advertisement/person, then DON'T apply. If it's too good to be true, it probably is, and there will always be another role just around the corner. If you are ever unsure about attending an interview, take someone else with you - and NEVER attend an interview at someone's home, unless they are already friend's of yours. Additionally, you can always call the advertiser and ask them some questions - if you feel comfortable with the answers, go ahead with an application. Interviews/auditions are a two-way street: don't forget that you have the right to say no to any job offer if you're uncomfortable.
Do a google for the text of the advertisement. Does it come up on many other sites? If not, you may want to ask yourself why.
For further reading on how to judge a good website from a bad one, read this:
This is only a basic guide to finding work on the net. Any more advice can be given if requested, and feel free to add and extend to this post.
(written by Na)
So you've found a website which lists auditions and you sign up to it - how do you know the site isn't dodgy? How do you decide when to pay a fee to access info or not? Here's some tips:
Disclaimer: This advice has been provided in good faith. However you should undertake your own research and take all care before acting or not acting on any of this information. Caveat emptor - buyer beware!
DON'T use sites like Seek.com, or other non-arts sites to look for work. They rarely provide audition or jobs information (except perhaps, arts admin work for local councils), and usually when they do, they are for the more dodgy roles of 'adult dancer'.
Sites like Arts Hub, QuietOnSet, or Aussietheatre.com live and breath researching jobs for the arts, which means they publish 99% of the advertised arts jobs out there. Seek.com, etc. don't. Those first three are also run by and for theatre people, which means you're more likely to find useful info and know that is run by people who are genuinely interested in helping, rather than making money off of you.
DON'T USE AMERICAN SITES: They will never have anything for Aussies, and many of them are scams. (List of scam sites below)
DON'T use sites that are laden with Google ads, have no contact or 'about' info for the creators. If there is no physical address or info that you can research independently (ie. do a Google and find a CEO's name, reference, or credit on another website) and confirm, then it is most likely going to be dodgy and/or a waste of your time. Never hand over money to such websites Make sure they have terms and conditions and privacy policies (read more on that below)
These sites are usually created by people who want to earn advertising money, and rarely offer good, reliable, up-to-date information. If you don't know who runs the site, you don't know whether or not they have a background or interest in the arts, which is crucial to them being able to find relevant info and jobs for Australian theatre people. If you want to find out who owns a website, use www.dnsstuff.com and do a DNS check (ie. in the DNS check field, write the URL of the site. They will automatically search for who owns the site). If the site is a .com.au, the owner legally must present an Australian Business Number when registering the domain name. This means that you can do a DNS check and then look up the ABN on the government's Business website; and make a complaint to the relevant authorities if necessary.
An example of doing your research may turn up some interesting information about the site:
DON'T use sites that aren't updated often. DON'T use sites that link off to other sites (like Careerone, etc.), since you may as well just use the original site where the info came from.
Occasionally, members do post ads for such sites. Here I will create a list of threads that discuss sites to AVOID:
Here's a discussion of Starnow, which has received mixed reviews:
AMERICAN SITES THAT ARE KNOWN SCAMS
Craigslist - although there is an Aussie section, this site is not used by Australian theatre people, and there is a high risk of scams. Better to avoid it.
ExploreTalent.com, ONESOURCETALENT.COM, Talenthunter, Instantcast.com and TALENT6.COM all have reports of being scams where you are asked to make payments for absolutely useless information, and creation of profile pages which could be better done by signing up for AT2 or something similar. (Some of these sites may only be advertised to American teens in America, and may not necessarily be easily found by Aussies. However, I add them here in order to inform people just in case)
While there is no easy way to learn what a dodgy site looks like (it's mostly a gut instinct), here's some tips:
A good site will have some verifiable information about the owners/publishers, their physical address or at the very least an email address to contact. A web form that you fill out and no contact info suggests there's no one looking after the website. A good site will have up-to-date info, will not be overly laden with Google ads, and will not ask for unusual personal info (like how much money you make). Be wary of any site where you are randomly asked to attend an audition or given a role when you have not applied for it. A good website will have Terms and Conditions and a Privacy Statement - MAKE SURE YOU READ THEM! Most people don't, but when handing over personal info and/or money, you should know certain things: will these people take your profile info and post it somewhere else? Will they protect your privacy? How do they keep your info private? Can you get a refund? Sometimes, the privacy/terms&conds are actually a useful way to CHECK the website; have they copied and pasted another website's terms and conditions and forgot to change the all-important company name?
Do your research: if you haven't heard about the person or company before, look them up. Ask around, google the website name. Check American and Australian business sites that report rip-offs and scams. If you feel wary about the website, then DON'T use it. If it's too good to be true, it probably is, and there are heaps of these sites around.
If you do sign up for a site, NEVER ASSUME THAT EVERY AD IS LEGIT. Many, if not most, websites can not and do not filter through every single ad to confirm its legitimacy. Therefore, even if you trust the site, you CAN NOT TRUST THE AD. Be sure to do due diligent research on the ad, just as you would for the website. ALWAYS BE WARY OF EMAILS FROM THE WEBSITE THAT TELL YOU YOUR ACCOUNT WILL/HAS BEEN CANCELLED AND TO SEND PERSONAL INFO; even legit sites can be 'copied' by spammers and scammers. If you're concerned about your account, then DO NOT CLICK LINKS IN THE EMAIL, and instead type the website address directly into your browser and login to the site. If there's no notice of a cancellation of your account, then it's most likely a scam; contact the website owners to confirm.
When do you hand over money? Certainly NOT BEFORE RESEARCHING it using the info above. Only when you are comfortable should you give money over - be sure to check what their refunds policy is, if they have a short 'test' period at which you can ask for your money back in (for example) 14 days. Don't feel as though you'll miss out on some big movie role if you don't pay out: these websites won't advertise roles like that, they'll only be cast through agents. Only pay up if you feel comfortable that the info on the website will be useful; do a lot of investigation of the site, how it works, what you can do, what info is listed, what info is 'hidden' before you pay. You can also always call or email the website owners and ask them to do a walk-through of how the site works and what payment will get you. Talking to the actual people who run the site may assuage your worries.
One more thing: just because a site is run by someone who is in the industry (or professes to have been) does not make it legit. I have heard of a number of sites where the person in charge has no concept of privacy, and of instances where private information has been repeated to other people. I have heard of a number of sites which have been set up by local artists who have little to no understanding of online privacy, the necessity of encryption of private info (like credit card info for example).... In other words, just because the person works in theatre does not mean they have the knowledge, experience or concepts to run an online business ethically. If you ever hear or read of anything that makes you feel insecure about your info being kept private, or the person in charge doing something which sounds dodgy to you, then don't use their services.
When you buy something from a website, you need to know a few things:
1: Does the site have a certificate?
In web terms, this is called 'SSL', it refers to 'secure socket layer'. A legit website - or even the dodgy ones actually, more on that in a sec - use SSL which both encrypts the data that is transferred during payment, and is like a 'background' check on the company that you're paying to. Basically what that means is that your credit card or other personal details will be encrypted when sent through the website. Obtaining an SSL certificate can cost $10 or thousands depending on what kind of certificate is purchased. This is important to know. It does not affect the level of encryption, or safety of your info, but rather affects the amount of time and labour the certificate-giving company spends on doing the background check of the website. The background check is to ensure that the website is what it says it is and that the company/people who run it are who they say they are.
This means that a non-legit company can purchase a $10 SSL certificate and the only background check done is that the email address doesn't bounce. A thousand-dollar check means that the certificate-giving company actually goes through the site's legal status and checks against local authorities and other relevant references.
It is also useful to know that there are certificate-giving companies that are more trusted than others, as well as certificate-giving companies that are entirely dodgy.
This means that when you make a payment to a website, you should look for a little badge, button or notice that shows that the site is certified. In internet explorer and other browsers, a little green closed padlock will appear in the browser's address bar, showing that the site is certified and secure. On a secure page, you will also notice the URL should be https:// instead of the normal http://
When making payments you should also double check for yourself that the certificate is what it's supposed to be: dodgy websites also 'borrow' other people's certificates and have been known to piggy-back other sites. To check the certificate, double click on the padlock and read the info in the certificate: it should say the name of the company, who certified them, and on what date. If none of those things match what is given on the site itself (ie. the company name is different), then you will want to do further investigation.
2. Getting error messages?
Some websites use a 'shared' certificate, which basically means their web host offers a certificate to their customers on a shared basis. While this is as secure as unshared certificates in terms of encryption, it basically means that the company has had no background check, because they've simply given themselves the certificate. This doesn't mean they're dodgy necessarily, probably just people wanting to either save money or they don't know how to set up SSL themselves. You can check their certificate (clicking the padlock remember?) yourself and if you are happy with the site, you can actually manually add their certificate to your browser as a site to trust. (Every browser comes with a selected list of 'trusted' certificate authorities - ie. Verizon, GeoTrust - which automatically add websites as trusted sites if they are certified by that company)
Another thing is that every image on the site has to be proceeded by the https:// and images can interfere with the certificate; the site may give an error message saying the site isn't secure even though it is, it's just the images aren't given the correct image address. You can check this for yourself when you open the certificate and view the 'media' for the site. You can see all the images listed and whether or not one is incorrectly addressed and interfering with the site (incidentally, some web stat codes also interfere with this and so you may get an error message without having an image incorrectly addressed).
If you've checked the above error problems and none of them apply, then be wary and do more research.
All of the above about certificates is said with a caveat: Theatre companies and other such arts-related companies rarely have the money to pay several thousand dollars every year to get/keep certified. There is no way to know whether or not the company pays for a $10 one or a higher-priced one; nor is it a way to judge whether or not the company is legit. I'm merely stating what the facts are in relation to your security when making payments online.
If so, read them and be informed about your rights. If not, ask yourself why.
4. Don't want to pay online?
Then don't. Legit companies will actually take other forms of payment if you contact them via phone, usually cheques, money orders or direct deposit. If they don't, and you don't want to pay online, then don't pay online and take your business elsewhere.
Updated 25 Feb 2009
Courses in Australia range from acting to production, from writing to musical theatre. You should not only choose the best course suited to your needs, but also choose according to what other people (teachers, etc.) have recommended for you.
The three 'main' colleges for theatre are: NIDA (NSW), WAAPA (WA), and VCA (VIC). However, there are plenty of universities that offer drama courses, as well as courses at TAFEs that are more practical-based, and plenty of technical courses for those techies out there.
Don't forget, plenty of theatre companies offer classes, and production companies and TAFEs often provide short course certificates as well.
For a good list of courses, you can check out Drama Australia's lists, or check out the branch of Drama Australia for your state.
Some of the universities in Melbourne offering theatre courses include: Swinburne Uni (TAFE), Deakin Uni, Monash Uni, RMIT, NMIT.
To add your details, use the Add Child Page option below
Screenwise was established to provide specialist, career-focused training in acting for film & TV, by employing the crème de la crème of industry professionals - award-winning actors, directors & casting consultants who are articulate and inspirational teachers.
Overseen by Denise Roberts, the teaching staff includes actors of the calibre of Victoria Longley (Wild Side), Tina Bursill (Small Claims), Nico Lathouris (Wild Side) Terry Serio (Summer Rain STC), Philip Holder (Home & Away), with prominent reputable directors which include Peter Andrikidis, (Mary Bryant, Jessica) Jennifer Kent, (Two Twisted) Bill Hughes ( All Saints) Cath Roden (Always Greener), Lewis Fitzgerald (Home & Away, McLeod's Daughters) who are currently employed in film or television; as well as selected Casting Consultants and Agents.
It is because of these tutor's and their Industry expertise and authority, and the fact that Screenwise Students are exposed to them on an intimately regular basis providing rare networking opportunities, is the reason that Screenwise has become Australia's leading film and television school for actors.
GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY - YOU CAN MEDITATE YEAH - BUT CAN YOU ACT?
there is no formula to acting - no trick - no spin guru for this one
it is about breath- about utterance - about physical balance
it is about tuning the only instrument the actor has: THEMSELVES!
ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE – DYNAMIC BREATHING - are used along the way in this intensive course that shall help to smash the wall!
Don’t be DUMBED-DOWN by productions that just want a 'type'.
what does 'BEING CENTRED' mean? - what is 'STAGE WEIGHT' or 'SCREEN
PRESENCE'? what is that 'SOMETHING' that makes you want to watch a dog
or a child, but turn off when an actor comes on pulling all stops?
what does 'BEING STILL mean? - "WHY DON’T I GET THAT LAUGH?" screams the actor.
why do actors fall for the trap of END-GAINING - and what does that mean anyhow??
highly acclaimed ACTOR/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER
(Angel At My Table, Heart of The High Country, Mr Wrong)
CAMERA WORK - TEXT WORK – SCENE WORK – THEATRE/FILM – ACTING IS
ACTING! It's about degrees of DYNAMIC. but you've got to get the gut
Commences: Mon 11th September 2006 Concludes: 16th October 2006
Cost: $660 (inc GST)
About the Tutor:
David Letch has got to be one of
the greatest actors of his time. From his magnificent internationally
acclaimed portrayal of Patrick the lovestruck alcoholic in ANGEL AT MY
TABLE and the retarded creature in HEART OF THE HIGH COUNTRY to his
spine chilling performance as the ghost in MR WRONG, Dave Letch is one
of New Zealand’s greatest exports.
Currently Producing the Feature Film Glenorful, Dave has
worked across film, television and theatre in a career that covers
acting, writing and directing. He has written for Crawford Productions
in the days of Homicide and Division Four, written the animated
features Rancid Rat and Mephisto Lives and Beyond The Game a music
theatre work concerning street kids working ‘the wall’ in Darlinghurst.
He was nominated Best Actor by British Vogue for his role in the mini
series Heart of the High Country and has played SPIDER in the grand
prix winning sci fi film Death Warmed Up. He hung up his hat as an
actor following his highly acclaimed creation of Patrick in Jane
Campion’s An Angel At My Table to concentrate on his love of developing
and creating new theatre. He has produced and directed many award
winning short films and documentaries and he created the most
successful for young people’s operas - Opera QLD where he has also
directed for the main stage.
He was co-artistic director of RENEGADE INC. a company dedicated to new
Australian writing and was a writer’s mentor for “Tropnest” based at
fox studios. He has sat on the board of the ANPC (Australian National
Playwrights Centre) and was Vice President of Brisbane Independent
Filmmakers. He was founding Editor in Chief of ‘Exposure’ film and
arts magazine and the International Short Film Festival of
the same name. He has held the position of Artist In Residence to James
Cook University where he taught across all levels of the theatre
degree and directed graduating year productions and showcases. He
also created the acting for camera component of the degree and taught
specialist areas in Alexander Technique, Improvisation and Shakespeare.
He has been Dramaturge to the Melbourne Theatre Company, Queensland
Theatre Company, Playbox and many independent production houses. His
most recent theatre productions have included A Tree Falling by Ron
Elisha which was nominated for a Green Room Award, The Blind by
Maeterlinck, Solitary Animals by Elaine Acworth, Beauty & the Beast
by Nick Dear and the critically acclaimed new work by Ron Elisha
Wrongful Life. Dave is a regular director for and consultant to
Parnassus’ Den and shall direct their main house 2006 production
Renaissance at The Old Fitz later this year.
INTRODUCTORY PRESENTER'S COURSE AND
LEVEL 2 PRESENTER'S COURSE (Applicants must audition, or have completed the Intro Presenter's Course).
The course instructors include Oriana Panozzo (Channel 10), Darren McMullen (Foxtel), Scott Feeney (Producer - Better Homes & Gardens).
Each class will be of 3 - 4 hours in duration.
The students will experiment in presenting for:
* Children, Lifestyle, Infotainment, Travel, Vox Pops, Interview *
The students will be working with the Presenter's NECESSARY SKILLS:
Short term memory, Acting as reacting, Circle of concentration,
One to one communication, Doing it for the cameraman, Walking and
talking, Hitting the mark, Finding the light, Finding the camera, Being
prepared, Being spontaneous, Being spontaneous twelve times in a row,
Stamina, Presenting YOU, Voice and body, Relaxation, Energy,
Discipline, Writing your own copy, Improvising, Taking direction,
Working as a team.
When: 1 night per week for 6 weeks from 6.30 p.m. - 9.30 p.m.
Commences: Wed 13th September 2006 – Concludes Wed 18th October 2006
When 1 night per week for 6 weeks from 6.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m
Commencing Mon 11th September - Concludes Mon 16th October 2006
(Material from this course can be used for a presenter showreel).
Australia's Leading Film and TV School for Actors
is ecstatic to announce a
6 WEEK PRO WORKSHOP
and highly acclaimed Actor
(Angel At My Table, Heart of The High Country, Mr Wrong)
Dave has worked across film, television and theatre in a career that covers acting, writing and directing. He has written for Crawford Productions in the days of Homicide and Division Four, written the animated features Rancid Rat and Mephisto Lives and Beyond The Game a music theatre work concerning street kids working ‘the wall’ in Darlinghurst.
He was nominated Best Actor by British Vogue for his role in the mini series Heart of the High Country and has played SPIDER in the grand prix winning sci fi film Death Warmed Up. He hung up his hat as an actor following his highly acclaimed creation of Patrick in Jane Campion’s An Angel At My Table to concentrate on his love of developing and creating new theatre. He has produced and directed many award winning short films and documentaries and he created the most successful for young people’s operas - Opera QLD where he has also directed for the main stage.
He was co-artistic director of RENEGADE INC. a company dedicated to new Australian writing and was a writer’s mentor for “Tropnest” based at fox studios. He has sat on the board of the ANPC (Australian National Playwrights Centre) and was Vice President of Brisbane Independent Filmmakers. He was founding Editor in Chief of ‘Exposure’ film and arts magazine and the International Short Film Festival of the same name. He has held the position of Artist In Residence to James Cook University where he taught across all levels of the theatre degree and directed graduating year productions and showcases. He also created the acting for camera component of the degree and taught specialist areas in Alexander Technique, Improvisation and Shakespeare.
He has been Dramaturge to the Melbourne Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre Company, Playbox and many independent production houses. His most recent theatre productions have included A Tree Falling by Ron Elisha which was nominated for a Green Room Award, The Blind by Maeterlinck, Solitary Animals by Elaine Acworth, Beauty & the Beast by Nick Dear and the critically acclaimed new work by Ron Elisha Wrongful Life. Dave is a regular director for and consultant to Parnassus’ Den and shall direct their main house 2006 production Renaissance at The Old Fitz later this year.
The School of Media, Film and Theatre
The School of Media, Film and Theatre offers exciting undergraduate, honours and postgraduate programs in media and communications, film studies, dance education, media, culture and technology and theatre and performance studies.
Main page http://media.arts.unsw.edu.au/index.html
To add your details, use the Add Child Page option below
To add your details, use the Add Child Page option below
To add your details, use the Add Child Page option below
Box Hill Institute's Centre for Performing Arts enjoys a reputation as a leader in the provision of high-quality, industry-relevant training. All of our trainers are experts in their field; we have a policy of continuous professional development to ensure that teachers remain abreast of current trends in a constantly changing industry.
The Centre for Performing Arts encompasses under its broad umbrella courses in:
As an Adult Education Institution, CAE exists to provide learning to the Victorian community through a wide range of programs and services. CAE receives government funding through the Adult Community and Further Education Division (ACFE). This funding supports CAE to deliver accredited courses designed to help adults complete their secondary education and begin or change their career direction.
To add your details, use the Add Child Page option below
Main Resource Page - http://www.humanities.curtin.edu.au/courses.cfm?id=303829
Curtin's Theatrical Arts course is well known across the country. This description is from the Web Site liked above.
This course allows disciplinary and interdisciplinary offerings in the areas of Australian and Intercultural Studies - Australian culture and society from intercultural comparative perspectives; Communication and Cultural Studies - the theoretical base andpractices of either film or journalism studies in a cultural studies context. Creative Writing; - the theoretical base and practices of creative writing; Cultural Studies - contemporary cultural theories; Gender Studies - understanding of gender and sexuality; Literary Studies - how literary texts articulate cultural values; Professional writing - professional communicators in a wide range of fields and the meanings these have in cultures; Performance Studies - the practice, history and theory of theatre; and Publishing Practice - skills, roles and contexts of publishing.“Curtin's theatre course is hands-on and covers a wide range of areas that allow you to try out new things and take some risks. And the ability to collaborate with a range of talented artists - actors, designers, directors, stage managers and a very nurturing staff - yielded very rewarding results.” Luke Milton Freelance Playwright and Director
Nowadays everyone needs drama skills in one form or another. This is the age of the 'presentation' where products and ideas are sold in a competitive market-place by the strength of the presenter and their powers of delivery.
Even before this stage, many school projects have oral or presentation components. Jobs and further education often involve an extensive interview process. There is an increasing need for a confident outward persona, an ability to speak with ease and audibility using the appropriate relaxed body language.
Dramaworks offers excellent preparation for a wide range of life skills and a solid learning platform for those with more advanced drama and theatre ambitions. Extracted From the Web Site
WEB SITE IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE, as of 25 Feb 2008
The Perth Actors Collective offer a range of workshops and training course covering topics such as Film and Television, Voice, Scripting and Stage Craft. They also offer regular special focus courses. Check out their website for more details.
PAC Screen Workshops bring together professional actors, film directors and screen writers wishing to deepen their understanding of the craft of screen drama and explore techniques for generating dynamic screen performances.
Since the beginning of 2002 the Edith Cowan University School of Contemporary Arts has been undergoing a profound change. It is redefining its role in order to be able to sustain a more intense engagement with cultural debate at all levels; this debate ultimately constitutes the broad educational base in which learning through cultural exchange can occur. Students have the opportunity to work in a unique multi-arts environment, generated by the close relationship between Contemporary Arts, Performing Arts (WAAPA) and Communications & Multimedia (SC+M), the three Schools that together make up the faculty of Communications and Creative Industries. - Extracted from the Main Home Page
http://www.soca.ecu.edu.au/school/about.html for the School.
http://www.soca.ecu.edu.au/school/performance/index.html the Contemporary Performance Bachelor of Arts Degree.
Hi! Are you interested in studying theatre and drama after high school? Maybe in doing a BA (Bachelor of Arts) with a theatre/drama major? Trying to decide which course is best for you, or want to know what’s out there?
Please read my review, and add your own comments and share your opinions too. I wish someone had laid out the best and worst parts of the courses for me at the crucial point of decision in year 12. I only hope that I help you in some way by making this post.
I’m Amy Murray, I’m a young/”emerging” actor/artist in Perth. I’m currently partway through a BA in Theatre and Drama at Murdoch University, but I have had experiences with a couple of other programs. Below I post my opinion on the best and worst parts of the tertiary theatre programs I’ve had experience with – it’s up to you to decide which course you think would work best with you. Every course is very different. Take the time to read this, please – make my efforts seem worthwhile! I hope I can help someone make the difficult choice with my reviews. Everything you read here is my own opinion and you may have an entirely different one, and that’s okay too! I’ve tried to be blunt and very honest here with everything I’ve written. Okay, here goes!
BA – Performance Studies degree program (Communication and Cultural Studies), 3 years full time.
I initially enrolled in this degree straight after high school (2010), with a double degree of Journalism. I left for Murdoch in 2011.
The bad (aka why I decided to transfer):
Remember I was only at Curtin for a year. If I could turn back time, I never would have transferred. I miss the friendships there and the Hayman shows are ONLY available for audition to Curtin performance studies students. My high school drama teacher studied there and recommended it, which was why it was my first preference TISC choice. Hayman has a good reputation in the industry. Many Performance Studies graduated go on to gain places in WAAPA and NIDA.
More info: http://courses.curtin.edu.au/course_overview/undergraduate/performance http://haymantheatre.curtin.edu.au/courses/
BA – Theatre and Drama program, 3 years full time.
I’m partway through my BA Theatre/Drama right now. Transferring did add on an extra semester, however if I did a bit more research on the units, I may have been able to push for further advanced standing (to make it so that my transfer didn’t add any extra time).
The good (aka why I transferred, points I like about my Uni/degree and things the teaching staff told me that influenced me to swap):
More info: http://www.murdoch.edu.au/Courses/Theatre-and-Drama/
B contemporary A - Contemporary Performance degree program (??????) (Communications and Arts faculty)
The Mount Lawley campus, notably, homes the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) – one of the most prestigious actor training academies in the nation, along with NIDA and VCA.
ECU can be a bit confusing – their website also lists WAAPA courses. WAAPA is part of ECU. Keep in mind that you will only be able to enrol in a WAAPA course upon successful audition and offer of place. WAAPA auditions’ are vigorous and the academy highly regarded – it’s not easy to get into, and many students may only gain acceptance after completion of their BA in theatre at Curtin/Murdoch/ECU. I recommend all budding actors audition for WAAPA, so they know what the experience is like, if even just for experience’s sake.
Don’t be put off by “super TAFE” comments about ECU. Although ECU has a lower TER admission score than the other two Uni’s, it is well known for being a hands-on/practical based training centre. Isn’t this exactly what a budding actor wants? Somewhere to learn practical skills, not just theory (or writing up essays on this theory). Don’t dismiss ECU right away, like I did, when I was naïve. I wish I had the chance to experience their performance courses, as I honestly think they would have given me the training skills I was hoping for as theatre Uni student.
I’m very confused about ECU right now. Back when I left school, 2009, there was a fantastic undergraduate BA/BA program offered at ECU called Contemporary Performance and Theatre Studies. I know that this course is not offered any more, as the Theatre Studies degree was based with training in WAAPA. Presumably this contrasted with or threatened the pre-existing Acting program at WAAPA. However, I can’t find an undergraduate program for Contemporary Performance at ECU any more. I was under the impression this was still available. I can’t find it on their website, does anyone know why? I only hope that ECU hasn’t ditched the course entirely.
I hope this course still exists! If I could go back in time, I wish I had put my first preference as the Contemporary Performance/Theatre Studies double major.
I’ll give info on the Contemporary Performance course as I remember it to be (this info may be outdated, if ECU has dropped the course):
More info: This is all I can find in terms of undergraduate links.
I don’t regret my time spent at Curtin, nor do I regret undertaking my current degree at Murdoch. In the end, all you’re going to get is a piece of paper with your name and “BA”. Three years of time, effort and money just for piece f paper! Essentially, this piece of paper is the same, no matter which Uni it comes from.
Notre Dame – I know very little about Notre Dame’s theatre course. Notre Dame is a private (ie: more expensive) and Catholic University, meaning that you will need to complete some theology units as part of your degree.
Notre Dame as a beautiful campus dotted around the heart of Fremantle, and it’s worth a further look if you’re interested.
Sorry I can’t be of much help here! I have a HECS debt (ie: loan) and I could never have been able to afford private University tuition, which Notre Dame offers. If you can, then definitely consider their theatre program too.
Perhaps someone can add to this article with his or her experiences at Notre Dame studying Theatre?
More info here: http://www.nd.edu.au/fremantle/schools/arts_sciences/theatre_studies.shtml
University of Western Australia – Unfortunately UWA doesn’t offer a BA in Theatre Studies. They do however have a great theatre company that perform at The Dolphin Theatre in UWA, called GRADS. You may be interested in auditioning for one of their shows.
Some final words….
Thank you for reading so much :)
With all of these courses, to my knowledge, is the opportunity to double up with an Education degree – if you’d like to be a drama teacher, I recommend this. Or, do what I’m doing, and complete the BA at wherever you choose, then spend a 4th year completing a ‘Dip Ed’ (Diploma in Education) specialising in theatre education/drama teaching.
Remember, what you’re looking for in terms of theatre/acting training may not be what ‘everyone’ is doing – you have to choose which course will work best for you in the end. You can always transfer – before doing so on a whim; try to talk to the head of the degree at that University. Their contact details should be on their website. You should have lots of questions. If you transfer, make sure you get advanced standing/recognition of prior learning, so you won’t have to repeat any of those crappy first year ‘humanities’ units!
Uni is FUN. Doing a BA shouldn’t be stressful.
One last bit of advice – try to go to all of your lectures and complete your readings. They will open your eyes to other aspects of the wonderful world of theatre, and knowledge is power :)
Let me know your thoughts and your own opinions by commenting.
Thank you for reading, hope this has helped weigh up the decisions!
Forming a part of the School of English, Communication and Cultural Studies, UWA is renowned for its theatrical courses. Here is a snip for their Web Page (link above).
Theatre and performance studies have been taught in the discipline for many years, across a wide range of contexts.
Students can study a range of upper level units. Three units are offered over a two-year cycle and each focuses on different areas of theoretical, contextual, and practical study.
This section of the FAQ is designed specifically to answer questions and provide guidance and support for directors and those with an interest in directing for the theatre.
If you are searching for plays your local library is not generally a good place to start. Even tertiary institute libraries tend to have older works on their shelves. Searching the web is good but for specific searches you can try:
They are attempting to amass a complete listing of every playwright and play, published or unpublished, in English since 1956. If you are a playwright (even unpublished) they would like to hear from you as well.
The Victorian Drama League has a large catalogue of playscripts conveniently searchable by type, length and the number of male and female roles:
Moore Books SA is a new Australian based publishing company.
We have a small but growing catalogue of new plays. The majority of these plays have had at least one performance and independent reviews are available.
The website contains excerpts from the plays.
All arrangements i.e. provision of perusal copies, copying rights for rehearsal scripts and performance rights can be carried out on line.
Look here for an alphabetical list of all theatre terms in the glossary
This website is an initiative of the Independent Theatre Association.
The Independent Theatre Association holds an annual one act drama festival call Dramafest. The festival, usually held over the October long weekend holiday, is competitive with a single adjudicator watching, commenting on and judging all productions entered in the festival. Since 1997 there has been a separate Youthfest component to Dramafest.
The Robert Finley Awards are annual awards presented to independent theatre in Western Australia
I have had several requests for the list on who won what at the recent ITA Finley Awards ceremony. Please note that I am no longer the 'official' publicist for the ITA, however on occasions the ITA do ask me to work on certain projects (including the Finleys)... I was all set to post the results up, however the efficient Kerri Hilton had posted the results in a reply to a thread.
So after several requests, here you are:
Winner: Scott Sheridan – Midsummer Nights Dream - GRADS
Peter Clark – Judas Kiss – Playlovers
Chris Jukes – Round and Round the Garden – Old Mill Theatre
Scott Sheridan – Midsummer Nights Dream – GRADS
Winner: Alex Desebrook – Midsummer Nights Dream - GRADS
Alex Desebrook – Midsummer Nights Dream – GRADS
Sue Darge – Dinner – Playlovers
Julia Dalby – Midsummer Nights Dream – GRADS
Best other than lead Male:
Winner: Michael Balmer – Judas Kiss - Playlovers
George McCabe – Judas Kiss – Playlovers
Rodney Vermeij- Cemetery Club – Marloo
Nick Donald – Insignificance – Garrick
Winner: Judas Kiss - Playlovers
Cemetery Club – Marloo
The Spiders Web – Old Mill theatre
Teahouse of the August Moon – Roleystone Theatre
A Month of Sundays – Harbour Theatre
Judas Kiss – Playlovers
Winners: James Hough Neilson – Judas Kiss – Playlovers
and Stephen Lee – Midsummer Nights Dream - GRADS
Stephen Lee – Midsummer Nights Dream – GRADS
Dean Schulze – Dinner – Playlovers
Claudette Ridout- Month of Sundays - Harbour
James Hough Neilson- Judas Kiss – Playlovers
Winner: Judas Kiss - Playlovers
Alice in Wonderland – Kwinana Theatre Workshop
Seussical – Playlovers
Judas Kiss – Playlovers
Best Musical Theatre Performer – Male
Winner: Alex McLennan – Seussical – Playlovers
Elizabeth Crewes Award – Front of House:
Sheila Buchanan Award:
Roleystone Theatre – Consistent Innovation in Set Design and Construction
- For Technical Wizardry Within a Play - “Cash on Delivery” – Garrick Theatre
- For Technical Effort in Lighting and Sound – “The Diary of Frank Annie” – Phoenix Theatre
- For Attention to Period Detail – “The Cemetary Club” – Darlington Theatre Players
- For Innovative Staging of a Production – “Dinner” – Playlovers Inc.
- For Sensitive Direction in a Production – Claudette Ridout – “A Month of Sundays” – Harbour Theatre
- For Impressive and Innovative Visual Spectacle – Stephen Lee – “Midsummer Nights Dream” - GRADS
Top Five Musicals of 2006 (in no particular order)
“Class of 77” – Roleystone Theatre
“Everything Must Go” – Playlovers Inc.
“Oliver” – Darlington Theatre Players
“South Pacific” – Old Mill Theatre
“Seussical” – Playlovers Inc.
A range of ITA forms including membership are provided here for members, prospective members and member companies.
The 2009 Finley entry form.
Remember to get the entry forms in 3 weeks prior to your season commencing.
The Independent Theatre Association publishes a monthly newsletter, the ITA Link. Copies of the newsletter are provided here as a free community service.
The ITA LINK Newsletters for 2008 are available for download
you can subscribe to the LINK electronically at no cost and receive it mid-month OR join the ITA for $25 and get the Link posted to you as a hard copy of electronic copy at the beginning of the month (that's 12 issues)OR wait till the end of the month when it's posted here.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to subscribe, have any questions or if you have any information you think we'd be interested in publishing. We really need information and photos to help keep this publication alive and interesting.
I read this article on http://www.aussietheatre.com/advice.htm and thought it was a great piece for people looking to get a start with an acting career.
By Shiona Long (Reprinted with permission)
I love talking to young artists. I love your passion, your determination and your optimism. Many of you can paint me a vivid and detailed picture of just how it will be when you ‘make it’. The power of such a dream cannot be underestimated.
What I notice is that many of you do not have a clear plan as to how you are going to get there. I can tell you this with absolute certainty; if you don’t break it down to the specific steps and take specific action, your chances of success are very, very low.
There are two parts to achieving the big dream. There is who you need to be and what you need to do.
You need to be talented, passionate and committed. These to me are givens. You also need to be focused, determined, disciplined, certain, resilient, courageous – I could go on.
I believe it is imperative to have a strong sense of who you really are as a person, what you truly want in your life and why it is so important to you. You need to take the time to ask these questions. This will give you the ‘inspiration’ to do what you need to do time, and time, and time again, to achieve your dream.
It has been said that given a BIG enough WHY, the HOW will take care of itself.
The next step is to map out the plan to achieve your dream. Map out each step along the path.
Firstly, ask yourself; where am I now? You need to be really honest and also really encouraging – your own best friend!
Then ask… What is the next step that I need to take? It may be to get a singing teacher, or get a lead role in an amateur show or an audition for a professional show. If you are being honest you will know what the next step should be.
Write a SMART Goal. If it is not written down it is still a concept that you don’t need to action.
S = Simple and Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attractive and As If Now
R = Realistic
T = Timed
So a SMART goal would go something like this
It is November 1st 2008 I am so excited to have landed my first lead role in an amateur musical theatre production. I love what I do and am so proud of my achievements.
The goal is simple and specific; you can measure whether it has been achieved, it is timed and it is stated as if you have it now. Only you can decide if it is realistic and attractive!
Then break it down into the specific actions that you need to take to achieve your goal. Allocate adequate time for each step and DO IT!
Do the practice, learn the lines, make the phone calls, have the courage to go to the audition. Do whatever it takes to have your goal real in your life. Look at what you have written down EVERYDAY.
By all means dream. Visualize that you have it now in you life. Feel it. See it. Hear it. Say your goal. Love it. Visualization works.
More importantly TAKE ACTION.
I can tell you this with absolute certainty; it won’t happen if you just sit there!!
This article was written by Shiona Long – Specialist Success Coach for the Performing Arts.
My business has changed a little from when that article was submitted. I am now working as a life and career coach with a special focus on the arts and not for profit sector, in particular for women who want to make a difference in the world in their chosen field and want the support to make their dream a reality. My background is as a musician, music and drama teacher, arts/not for profit manager and now a coach and trainer.
I am now operating under the new business name Authentic Success with the e-mail email@example.com my web address is www.authenticsuccess.com.au although it doesn't necessarily reflect the changes I have mentioned above. My direction is becoming clearer to me the more I work in this area, which for is very much part of the process that I need to go through in order to assist others.
I am still more than willing to assist young artists in anyway that I can - time permitting of course.
I look forward to hearing from you,
Created 11 Aug 2008, updated 31 March 2009
First you should look at the 'Looking for work' FAQ:
This is mainly aimed at young actors, which probably won't apply to most newly arrived people from overseas; unless you're only looking for amateur roles. Although usually I don't encourage work wanted posts, newly arrived folk looking for professional roles are welcome to do so because it not only introduces you to us, and vice versa, but assists us in providing more specific advice to you, your skill levels, and giving info about the location you intend on being/are in.
This site is mainly aimed at an amateur community, and therefore most of the people and info pertains to that side of theatre.
It should also be noted that Australia has vastly different industries depending on where you are. Most of the work can be found on the Eastern side of the country, particularly Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney is more of a professional, venue-oriented industry, whereas Melbourne is more fringe and small group oriented. However, there are also vibrant industries in Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth, as well as elsewhere in the country. Each capital has its own unique pros and cons; so telling us where you are/plan to be will help us immensely in offering decent advice.
Generally speaking, you should plan ahead and look for work before arriving: the professional industry is small and roles are difficult to find, especially if the country is new. The following should help you a bit in finding out where the jobs are.
The next step is to take a look at this link:
This is information provided by me after four years of running a free ezine that included jobs, and two years working at one of the top arts publications in the country. In that post is a set of bookmarks made freely available to all who want it. It lists many of the professional companies, venues and groups in this country (all for pro theatre only) and is set out in easy to find sections. There's one section called 'job hunting' which is very good to use to hunt for work in a range of areas; both tech and acting.
Another good tip is to find out when and where local festivals are being presented. Large ones include the Melbourne Fringe Festival (Sept-Oct each year), the Melbourne International Arts Festival (Oct-Nov each year), the Melbourne Comedy Festival (Mar-April each year), the Adelaide Fringe, and so on... These festivals not only provide a lot of opportunity for professional roles (both tech and acting), give you some insight into what kinds of shows and groups are performing; and attending a show or two is always a good way to introduce yourself to like-minded people. Additionally, all major festivals offer voluntary roles, and is an excellent opportunity to not only make some good contacts, but also to get a little Aussie experience under your belt in a professional setting.
For those looking for paid internships, you'll find that Australia doesn't work the same as the US or other countries - that is, there aren't any. We either have amateur roles or pro roles, but rarely anything in between. Additionally work experience here is usually saved for those who are still at school or university. Generally speaking, if you've worked extensively overseas, you should have no problems submitting a CV/resume to a local venue and seeing if they have any interest. For those actors out there, you should be getting yourself an agent, as most roles are not openly advertised and without one you'll find it difficult to obtain work. There are plenty of articles in the FAQ about finding an agent, where to look, etc.
There are a number of good schools and universities available for training, depending on what you want to do. The most notable ones are NIDA in Sydney (http://www.nida.edu.au/), VCA in Melbourne (http://www.vca.unimelb.edu.au/) and WAAPA in Perth (http://www.waapa.ecu.edu.au/). However, there are excellent courses outside of these three, and you should look into what's available from a range of places. Additionally, there is Australia's only puppetry course at VCA (although a small component is also performed at Melbourne's Swinburne Uni, http://www.swinburne.edu.au/), and NICA (also Melbourne, http://www.nica.com.au/) is our country's only education institution for circus arts.
Many of your questions may also be answered in other threads that cover this topic already:
(an oldie but a goodie - especially for techies)
(a good one for teachers)
Anyone who is involved in theatre may at some point wish to create their own performances. Self producing a show can be one of the most rewarding yet difficult things you can do. So here's some tips on how to go about it.
If you're under 18, please get an adult to help you. Yes, it's possible to self-produce when you're a minor, but there may be legal or safety issues involved, and you should definitely work within the paramaters of help from a parent, teacher or local drama professional.
First, a self-produced show usually means it is 'profit share' or a 'cooperative'. What this means is that the cast and crew put their own money into the show (or get a sponsor or funding, but it's usually their own money) and then equally share the profits once they are made. MEAA has a good example contract for profit-share performances, which shows you how to make everything nice and legal. (If it's not available for download at the MEAA website, contact them and ask for a copy)
You may be wondering how much money you'll need to produce a show; this is dependant on a number of factors. I can self-produce a show for $3k, but you may find you need more, depending on venue, marketing, insurance and other costs. Create a budget, with all your costs estimated - everything, right down to the last stamp.
David Ashton gives the following advice:
"You need to produce a total budget, with every cost itemized.This will give you a dollar amount which is your 'cash cost'.There are often percentage costs like royalties.You divide the 'cash cost' by 1-royalties[e.g..1] which will give you a 'break even' figure.You then express every cost,wages,publicity, etc as a percentage of the 'break even'.The costs such as wages can be taken up as a percentage by the participants and you invite investors to buy the percentage to cover the costs which have to be paid in cash.It is a good 'litmus test' of the show if it appeals to investors.I suggest that you limit investors to around $1000 each so that there is a limited liability.At the end of the show everyone gets a percentage of the gross.Using this method is fair to everyone involved."
Don't expect to break even or make a profit from your first show - or your first few shows! Many people decide to put the money back into the company, instead of taking it away, in order to ensure the company gets a good headstart for the first few productions.
Budgets is semi-discussed in more detail here, with a description of how one of my shows was done:
In terms of starting a company, you will want to pick people to work with who you are sure will be reliable - friends and colleagues are a good start, but do keep in mind that money can strain relationships. You don't necessarily need to have a person who does marketing, and a person who does acting, and another person who does lighting. While it may help, you might prefer the entire company to be made up of actors, or dancers, or even all techies. (Red Stitch in Melbourne started as an actor's group only, and hired freelance designers to do the other stuff when it came time to present the show)
A big thing to remember is that if you owe money at the end of the show, then you are all liable for that payment - that is, if you can't pay what's owed, then you all have to pay it. Make sure whatever agreement you create (and make sure it is written in a contract) covers what happens when money is owed, and what happens when you make a profit, and what happens when there is a dispute. This is why the MEAA contract comes in handy.
Are there any legal requirements or business models that you have to have? No. You don't necessarily need an ABN, business name, or registered legal entity. You will need insurance, and it's a good idea to have a written agreement of how money is dealt with. But no, you don't have to have a business model, name, ABN, or other such thing.
However, some people find that gaining sponsorship and funding is easier if they are a registered company (an incorporation for example). You may find that setting up a bank account is handy (banks offer accounts with NO MONTHLY FEES IF YOU CAN PROVE TO THEM YOU ARE NOT FOR PROFIT. Check out 'community' bank accounts at your local branch); just make sure you nominate one person in your group to keep track of finances. If you'd like some legal advice, contact the Arts Law Centre of Australia, as they provide advice specific to any arts law topic you need help with.
Next, you will need to find out what kind of insurance you will need, how much and where to get it from - don't think you can do without it. The number of accidents that happen - you will, even if it's just to cover your ass. Many venues also won't hire to you unless you have insurance, so it's very important to make sure you have it.
From there, you create your show the same way you create any other show, but in this case, the performers may also do the technical stuff; organise publicity, the venue, etc. It may help to nominate one person who is responsible for tech, one for marketing, and so on. You may want to have a more collaborative, equal-say group, but in times when you argue (and there will be times), one person who is in charge of the poster design (or whatever) can put their foot down and have the final vote. This is especially handy in case there are too many cooks or things get out of hand in terms of deadlines. If there are no tech-minded people in your group, find a production manager or stage manager who is experienced in fringe performances, and ask them to help you. (Don't think you can get away with creating a lighting design when you don't know anything about lighting; it's not only dangerous, but won't help you create the best performance possible)
Much of self producing will be learned along the way. Most people find self producing confusing, but my guess is it's only because it seems like there's a lot to do; and many people, particularly actors, do not know how to go about doing the things that have been done for them. Ie. finding a venue (another topic for another day) Find out who the most organised person is in the group and nominate them to be the stage manager or production manager.
In terms of marketing, you will not only need to contact every family member and friend, but you'll need to compete with other shows and bigger budgets. Word of mouth is usually the best strategy. Approach your friends, family or fellow students. Ask your local teachers for help and make deals for their students to come at cheaper prices. Find your local community centre, or arts centre, and talk to them. Ultimately, meeting and chatting with people face-to-face will better your chances at anyone being interested.
Most people self produce because they want to write their own script, or are tired of using the same old plays. Another strategy is to take a local issue and make it into a play. Ie. Something controversial to your town, or just a local historical story. The more local and personal the story, the more likely other people will be interested in it; especially if the community writes, performs and produces it themselves.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you decide who keeps what copyrights - if writing your own play - and how people can use them. If you want to use an already published script, do make sure that you can use it; don't just assume you can. Find out if the play is in public domain (ie. everyone can use it without paying royalties), whether you need to obtain rights and pay royalties, or whether you need to obtain rights and it's royalty free. The same goes with any piece of music you hope to use, and rights can be applied for from APRA.
... Once you have the script, it's time to rehearse. Three months is generally enough for amateur or professional companies, but I recommend taking four to five months if it's your first self-produced show. Mainly because you'll have a lot more to do than just rehearse. This time must also be spent making sets, collecting props, following the money, booking seats, etc etc. You will most likely be working a 'normal' job and rehearsing on weekends or in the evenings. Time can be used up very quickly and three months may be too fast for your liking. Coordinating schedules is perhaps the most difficult thing about producing any show.
Finding a venue can be difficult, but if you know what you're doing, can be done. If you don't have a stage manager or technical director, now's the time to get one. A TD will help you find a venue that is appropriate for your needs, safe, has proper equipment, and is affordable. Don't forget; you'll all need to be able to get to the venue, so something central to all involved would also be ideal. Expand your horizons: venues can be pubs, restaurants, cafes, libraries, scout halls, churches, your own backyard... just make sure you have permission to use the space according to your performance needs, make sure to discuss everything clearly with the venue supervisor, and make sure that it's legal and safe to perform there.
UPDATE: You can now read a checklist to help you find a venue to suit your show below:
The hardest thing you might find is concentrating. If you're working with a bunch of friends, it's very easy to slip into a silly mode, muck around, or just spend time catching up. I found the best thing to do is spend 15 to 30 minutes at the start of rehearsals to catch up, and then move into rehearsals. If you can't stick to a proper schedule like that, then don't catch up at all, and have a mindset when you enter rehearsals to only rehearse! It may be necessary to appoint one person - perhaps whoever's stage managing - to make sure that rehearsal starts on time and is kept on track. This will really help your time management and help your target opening night be achievable. Additionally, make sure at least one person is keeping track of blocking, lines, etc. with the use of a prompt copy. Getting in a friend or colleague to act as stage manager - even if you're not using one on the night - will help immensely, as they can often add an outside eye and keep things on track. The same thing goes with finding someone to act as co-director or director.
Self producing can be extremely nerve wracking. Most performers and groups I've worked with spend a lot of time obsessing about how the show is going to be accepted by friends, colleagues, the public, and critics. The most important thing I could ever advise was... have fun! Yes, it's your script and your show, and putting your thoughts and emotions out there is risky and scary - but if you stop having fun, that's when the show is most likely to fail.
Listen to others- there is always going to be someone with greater knowledge than yourself- blowing off other's constructive criticism can be bad, because you'll lose sight of your learning curve and get stuck in a rut. Try to take everyone's ideas on board, listen, read any reviews you might get so you can improve on things next time.
That's what it is all about, learning a new skill and improving on it next time. There's always something new to learn.
As a last word on dealing with people, you may find at some point the group being strained by a bad relationship, bad dynamics, bad timing, or simply bad luck. Be understanding of the problems and difficulties that face each other, whether on stage, at home or at work. At some point, you may either need to discuss postponing an event, cancelling it altogether, replacing someone or kicking someone out. The better and clearer the communication between all members, the better the group will work together and the less likely you'll have to deal with someone who is uncooperative. If, at some point, someone doesn't pull their weight, you'll have to remind that person that a show is a commitment, even if there isn't a definite heirachy, profit or wage, or punishment for being bad.
Anyway... One thing I highly recommend: make sure you keep a copy or two of the program, poster/postcard or any other marketing you make. Clip and keep copies of reviews. Make sure you get a friend or photographer to take photos during the show. Get at least two shows videotaped (just in case something goes wrong one night, you can choose the better version) and make a DVD out of it. This is not only an excellent resource for any show reel or resume, but also a good way to archive your work and remember it for years to come. If you have trouble remembering to take photos, then get someone outside the crew to do it for you. If you're particularly keen you can even take shots of you building the set, trying on costumes, etc.
Want more info: Check out Lyn Wallis' "In Good Company: A manual for producing independent theatre", available from Currency Press.
You may also want to check out this thread, which lists some questions that you might have already in mind (there's a particularly good post from me, which covers a *lot* of stuff):
This thread has an excellent example list of the types of things you might need to do in order to organise a show (fourth post down):
Article created 30 Nov 2008 by Na. Updated 5 April 2010
A list of useful topics for the techie or designer.
If you have any questions about theatre lighting or want to add some details or links, add your post below and I will start up a seperate title for it.
There is a technical Bulleting on the Jands web site TNJLT094.DOC http://www.jands.com.au/download.nsf/getfile/E8AB225AE7424D2DCA256EFD001D0ED4/$File/tbjlt094.pdf Jands HP, FP, GP and 4 Pack dimmers experience failure of some types of X2 mains bypass capacitors. See link to identify suspect capacitors and read what to do. You need to have a restricted electrical license to safely carry out this work.
Here is a link to the ABTT Theatre Essentials http://www.abtt.org.uk/PDFs/Theatre_Essentials.pdf.
Although it is a UK document, much of the information is still relevant to us in Western Australia.
Here is a link to worksafe WA's publication Code Of Practice - Prevention Of falls At Workplaces http://www.worksafe.wa.gov.au/newsite/worksafe/media/codes/code_falls.pdf which is relevant to ALL amateur, professional and school lighting.
On Line Resources:
Stage Lighting 101 - Bill Williams - http://www.mts.net/~william5/sld/sld-toc.htm - this is an excellent book and covers the McAndless method of key lights which is the basis for most drama lighting.
ALIA's lighting links - http://www.alia.com.au/links/index.html - supplied by Andy Cidor's Killowat Company
Stage Lighting Handbook by Francis Reid - up to sixth edition - 792.025 ISBN 0713634391 (pbk.) - An excellent book for beginners that covers all aspects of stage lighting.
Stage Lighting by Richard Pilbrow - 792.025 ISBN 0289797632 - Has an invaluable reference section at the rear of the book covering lantern data, gel cross refences etc, good book to have.
Concert Lighting, Second Edition : Techniques, Art and Business (Paperback) by James Moody ISBN 0240802934 - James Moody invented the PAR can - very usefull book for adapting and applying rock lighting for stage shows, especially musicals
Stage Lighting Step-By-Step by Graham Walters 792.025 WAL - ISBN 1-55870458-2 - basic techniques to achieve professional results. An american book that covers all aspects of theatre lighting, has lots of coloured photos and examples, very practical, shows how to do special effects. ***** five stars
Save yourself some money by getting theatre lighting books out of your local library, use inter library loans, to eveluate the book before you decide to buy it.
The Health (Public Buildings) Regulations 1992 covers amateur and professional theatre as well as schools as they are all public buildings. You can access the regulation onlie at the State Law Publishers PDF document
- Safety chains are compulsory, it covers seating regulations, venue capacity, exit signs, stage curtains, dimmer supplies. One of those regulations all WA theatres need to be familiar with. You can buy a hard copy from SLP.
Here's some previous topics/links on safety in the workplace, specifically for theatre. Please note: some of these are old and should be checked against current law and regulations:
Created 21 July 2010
For the 'Nios Bios' that may or not effect us eventually?
Beside the POHM's in London, the Yanks are now looking into to wireless & the sharing fight, from various quarters & interests.
Not that we will have to worry too much here for a while anyway?
But as usual, when they flush their dunny, you can guarantee, it will empty someones bath here!
This section of the FAQ attempts to answer most questions that you may have about this website.
The home page includes a number of sections. Blocks of content appear down the left and right hand side. These blocks may vary depending on your role and the section of the site that you are visiting.
In the centre portion of the home page you will find a number "promoted" items of information and a summary of the most recent topics posted on the forums.
Items are promoted to the home page automatically as members vote on various forum topics, events, companies and venues.
If you want your information to be published to the home page, it will pay to contact your friends and encourage them to vote for or moderate your item of information as Excellent!
Theatre Australia is not responsible for the information provided or the views expressed, nor does it necessarily endorse the information or views by providing public forums where people may publish this information.
It is your personal responsibility to independently confirm the details you find on this website.
Comments posted in the various forums are wholly the responsibility of the person posting the information.
If you believe illegal, unauthorised or defamatory information has been published on this site, please report this via the feedback form.
Material published on this website remains the intellectual property of the originator and copyright holder.
By choosing to publish material on this site, the copyright owner expressly permits reproduction.
The Message Boards, or Forums, are areas where members and guests may publish productions, auditions, reviews, or to participate in various discussions. There are a number of forums that focus on specific areas within the theatrical community.
|Intended for major announcements; Auditions, Productions, Calls for actors/directors/singers and so forth. Also used for Site Updates and General News|
|General discussions and those postings that may be a little less than theatrically related.|
|Musicals and Operas|
|Intended for those discussions that revolve around the musical side of theatre.|
|Special forum especially for the back-stage techs where they can discuss all things ... techy.|
|Basic Classifieds forum - Wanted, For Sale, Seeking, Job opportunities, General Advertising|
|A special Forum for all Reviewers and those that love to read and comment on reviews.|
Making a Topics Posting
A Forum Topic Post is the term used to denote the post that appears in the Forum Listings. It is the first post in a thread. A Thread refers to the series of comments that refer to a main Topic posting.
Only registered members can post Topics. Topic can be created in a couple of ways.
Submit Forum Topic
All Topics require a title. Make your title relevant to your content and short.
This drop-down menu allows you to select the correct forum for you posting. Please ensure that you post appropriately. By default, the Forum from which you were previously in will appear here.
This is a MUST FIELD!! Please ensure that you correctly locate your posting as it helps identify your location in Site Searches and to potential readers. Only truly non-localised topics should have the default option of Australia selected. There is also an option for International topics at the end of the list.
Roles / Genre
Both of these options allow you to target specific interest groups that you think may find your topic of particular interest. These categories are used primarily in the Site Search tool.
This is where you type in the full message for your topic. If you are a dab-hand at HTML coding then you can have fun in the Non-Rich-Text mode. For most of us, you may find that the Rich-Text mode make life so much easier. Underneath the box itself you will see a disable rich-text or enable rich-text toggle option.
NOTE: Pasting items directly from Word may cause odd things to appear when you submit your post. It is suggested that you first strip all Word Formatting by copy-pasting into Notepad (or similar) first, then copy-paste from Notepad into the Body text box. Then you can apply your formatting as required.
If your topic has associated files, such as a PDF or Image, then you can attach it to your Topic. All attached files will be listed at the bottom of the posting once the Topic is submitted.
Preview / Submit
Once you have written your topic, click the Preview button to review how it looks. You can make further modifications in the preview view and review your changes as required. Once you are happy with all the changes, the click Submit. Your Topic will be submitted to the Forum selected in the previous drop down menu.
Making Changes to or Deleting a Topic
As the author of a topic, you may be able to edit or delete. Your ability to do so is based upon your Membership Status. Regular Contributors will be able to modify most of their own posts with only a few exceptions (such as Poll Postings).
When viewing a Thread, the author of the main Topic will be able to see an Edit Tab at the top of the page. By clicking this option, they will then be able to modify the contents of the topic, or delete it completely. The screen looks exactly the same as when posting a new topic, except that there will also be a Delete button along with Preview and Submit.
Please note that if you delete a Topic, you will also remove all comments made to it. This can cause some minor historical issues and it would be preferable that you modify the content instead of deleting.
Why can I not Submit an article? I click SUBMIT but nothing happens?
Browsers are constantly changing and upgrading, and there is a lot to choose from. They also choose to support different web development tools and as such, some web pages will work on one browser but not on another.
We have noticed, at the time of posting this article, that browsers such as Safari and Google Chrome do not fully support the web features used on this site and is a major factor in the issue asked above. If you are experiencing problems posting articles, then we suggest that you try a different browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer. If the problem persists, then you may have a caching issue. Try clearing out your history, cache and web cookies.
In the odd rare circumstance, the problem appears to correct itself after a few days for no apparent reason, which may suggest a server based problem.
If the issue persists, then let us know via the Feedback service.
This site has been designed work with a broad range of standards-compliant browsers and tested against most prominent browsers on Macintosh, Windows and Linux platforms.
Sadly there are some issues with the popular Safari web browser on Macintosh OSX. Safari users will find that they can read all sections of the site but that when they come to post messages or events, their attempts will fail.
Until this is resolved, Safari users should please consider switching to another web browser.
Voting is applied only to the initial post of a Forum Topic, This is the post that appears in the Forum Listings.
Below is an example TopicPosting.
User ID | dd/mm/yyy - hh:mm
Message Content Goes HereModerate Post:
Your vote contributes to whether or not this post appears on the home page.
|Special | Functions | XXX reads|
NOTE : If you are an unregistered reader (guest) then you will not see the Moderate Post and Add Vote features.
If you have the authority to vote a posting (any registered member), you will see drop down selection box located at the bottom of the initial post titled Moderate Post: which will contain a number of options to select from;
Voting a Post
Select one of the options and then click the Add Vote button below the drop down. All votes are then averaged up. Each registered / established user gets one vote and the option to change their vote later.
Effects of Voting
By voting a Topic Heading, you can "promote" the entire Topic to appear on the Home Page. Further votes that reduce the average can see the Topic removed from the front page. Extreme voting down may see the Topic itself disappear completely from the forum allong with any comments attached to it. How a Topic Post appears on both the front page and the forum, along with all associated comments, is based on the average of votes provided by Registered Users.
Changing Your Vote
With initial Topic Posts, you can adjust your vote at a later point in time. By returning to the post, you will see, if you have made a vote already, that the Add Vote button will now read as Edit Vote. Simply follow the same steps as for Voting a Post and your vote will be changed.
The voting system is intended as a Democratic way of monitoring the quality of discussions on the Forums. Do not just vote down postings. You are also encouraged to vote up or vote average when ever possible.
Voting a Topic Post is different to Moderating a Comment Post. See Moderating for more on Moderating Comments.
Moderating in terms of this FAQ is specifically the moderation of Comment Post, not Initial Topic Posts which is discussed in the Voting FAQ. Comment posts are those posts that are in response to an initial posting.
Topic Posts can only be posted by Registered Users while Comment Posts can be from anyone.
Only registered users can Moderate Comments. Each Comment Post will have a Moderation: drop down within it. There you will find a number of moderation options;
Select a moderation option for some or all of the comments posted. Once you have select your options, you will find a Moderate Comments button after the very last comment listed. Clicking this will lock your moderator options in. Once done, you will NOT BE ABLE TO CHANGE YOUR CHOICE, so moderate with care and judiciously. All moderation options are averaged.
Effects of Moderation
Each Registered User has one vote and one vote only with Comment Moderation. The main effect of moderation is how the comments appear when filters are applied. Under the initial post, you will find a section titled Comment Viewing Options (see below) which will have a number of drop down options, the fourth of these being a Comment or Mod Filter tool. To change your filtering options, select the desired level of filtering and the click Save Settings. It looks like this;
Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
All the Rubbish in the Mod Filter will list all posts regardless of moderation (except those moderated off the forum - see later) while Best of the Best will only display the highest rated posts. Those that have been 'filtered' will appear only as a Comment Title which can be clicked on if you want to read the comment itself. They will look something like this;
Date - Time
Date - Time
Note that if you open an individual Comment for viewing, you cannot moderate the comment. Comments can only be moderated while being viewed as a list.
A comment that has been moderated Utter Rubbish several times will be "removed" from the thread. Again, this is based on the average of the votes. Once a comment has been moderated Off a thread, it cannot be returned.
What should I moderate?
The type of content that is posted to this site is very much in the hands of you the users. You get to have a say in what you would like to see and what you would not. In that way, the site is run by a democratic vote of registered users. After all, with all the posts, it would be very difficult for one or two admin officers to moderate it all.
It is recommended that you moderate reasonably and fairly. If the post is relevant and constructive in its nature, then your are encouraged to vote the posting up or to average. If a posting offers little contextual usefulness or is basically vulgar in nature, vote it down.
It is important that you moderate without bias. If a posting is the expression of a personal opinion expressed in a constructive manner and does not violate the sites Disclaimer and Conditions of Use nor is SPAM or vulgar then it should not be moderated down.
Ultimately, it is a matter of personal opinion yet it is hoped that any and all voting is done with fairness and be as unbiased as possible.
Moderate Fairly. Moderate Frequently.
Thanks for your continued support and involvement!
Just a quick note regarding the use of spam reports: please don't use this functionality to unpublish posts and comments that are not very clearly spam. For clarification, spam is unsolicited commercial email with no clear relationship to theatre.
It's vital that spam reporting not be used for any other purpose for the following reasons:
1) it pollutes the automated spam marking system
The site uses artificial intelligence to identify the likelihood of posts being spam. It bases these decisions on past reports. Marking posts that are not spam as spam confuses the AI about what is and isn't spam. As a result the number of false positives - inaccurately auto-tagged spams - increases and leads to significant frustration when people find their legitimate posts are rejected as spam.
2) arbitrary unpublishing or removal of posts and comments, quite apart from constituting censorship, exposes everyone involved in maintaining the website to unreasonable risk.
Our legal advice is that posts on this website do not constitute defamation and that, as long as the site is unmoderated, responsibility for what is posted rests with the person posting the message. If a single post is unpublished for any reason other than marking spam or in response to a formal complaint, we will be held liable for everything posted on the site.
Please do not take it upon yourselves to unpublish posts. If you receive a complaint regarding content on the website, please be sure to direct people to me personally by passing on my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) mobile number (0401 216 962) or by forwarding the complaint direct to me yourselves.
Thanks again for your help with this!
If you see an ad, whether it's for an audition, a job, or a classified for costumes, sets, etc., or a listing for a venue, PLEASE USE THE CONTACT DETAILS PROVIDED and contact the advertisers directly. Many, if not most, do not return here to check for replies, especially venues (since venues are not necessarily added here by the people who run them). Additionally, if you do choose to reply, would you kindly leave your OWN CONTACT DETAILS, so people can contact you asap. There's no point in asking for assistance if there's no way of contacting you and hoping you just happen to come back and visit this site; rarely do advertisers return queries here from those who do post queries, simply because, as mentioned they leave their own contact details and expect YOU TO CALL THEM.
Theatre Australia is intended to be a forum for everyone with an interest in Australian theatre.
Wherever you are, whether professional or just starting out, this site aims to offer opportunities for us all to gather and share our enthusiasm for a live entertainment form that is far from dead and gone!
Theatre Australia depends on your active support and contributions. Hundreds of people are working to add information directly to what has become the largest resource of australian theatre information available on the web.
YOU are urged to help out by registering and adding information to keep YOUR company up-to-date!
Like so many of the best sites on the internet, all of the services on this site are free and are maintained entirely by voluntary efforts.
Your feedback and support for this endeavour is actively sought and encouraged. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please use the feedback form. General theatre enquiries should be directed to the relevant theatre company or posted as a new topic on the forums.
Like most efforts to build an on-line community, this website has been anything but the product of one person's labour. However, if you really wished to point the finger at one specific individual, then Grant Malcolm has been responsible for designing, building and managing this site - for free! His object has always been to create an environment in which those with a passion for the performing arts, and in particular australian theatre, can promote their work and share their experiences.
On-line communities don't just happen! The first version of this website was developed to support the objectives of the Independent Theatre Association. The independent theatre community of Western Australia played an active part in shaping the early development of this website. While the site now supports a thriving national network, the WA theatre community continues to play a vital role.
Remember, this is your website. We all thrive on each others contributions, praise and thoughtful criticism.
From 1999 until 2008, Perth-based Internet Service provider, Informed Technology generously sponsored Theatre Australia providing free hosting and support. They kindly provided sophisticated server technology to support this site's features and the friendly Informed Technology staff always responded very promptly to questions and demonstrated considerable tolerance for the trouble we occasionally caused them!
From the outset it was apparent that simply reproducing details from ITA newsletters or producing an on-line sales brochure advertising the benefits of ITA membership, was neither going to meet the varied needs of the ITA membership nor take advantage of the interactive nature of the Internet and World Wide Web.
A site that would fill these criteria would have to be highly interactive allowing for the maximum interchange of information and a high degree of participation by interested parties. The site would need to be regularly updated and preferably by as many people as possible to share the work load if not the responsibility.
Maintaining such a site using conventional methods would have caused an updating load beyond the capacity of a team of dedicated workers. However, a range of options were available to allow the site to be "served" live from on-line databases. This means that the site effectively updates itself, providing a fresh copy of the latest information everytime a visitor comes to the site.
There are literally hundreds of examples of sites providing information from databasess - search engines are the most obvious examples. However, sites that maximised opportunities for visitor input were not so common.
Simple WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) web authoring packages help with laying out the original site. But these were quickly dropped in favour of writing the HTML (hyper text markup language) by hand in a text editor.
To give the site it's interactive facilities a range of software was used. The first packages used were Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts - text files - written in Perl. The packages included a simple flat-file database manager by Selena Sol used to maintain the What's On, Audition, Library, and Company databases. The highly popular message boards were running on an early "freeware" version of Webbbs by Darryl Burgdorf. The Free-For-All-Links page script was courtesy of Matt Wright and the polls script was from BigNoseBird.Com. All of these marvellous tools were at least free for non-commercial use. They also came with very liberal licences that allowed them to be radically modified to suit the needs of the ITA site.
The collaborative philosophy of this site is reflected in the choice of Open Source tools for its development.
You'd have to be either a Luddite or Net novice, not to have heard of the "free" Linux operating system. This marvel of modern engineering is a product of the co-operative efforts of the Internet community.
The "free" Apache server software running this site runs on the Linux operating system. The databases are maintained on a "free" SQL database called PostgreSQL and are served using the "free" server side scripting language PHP.
Until 2006, the message boards ran on a modified version of Phorum, a "free" php-based system. The What's On database was built almost entirely from scratch with some calendar display routines from an Open Source community calendar originally by Rosenet, Inc. The site's search engine was based on a GNU 2 Licenced version of DGSSearch by Digital Genesis but with substantial changes to the search logic. Modification to these scripts and the home-brewed scripts for the Links, Companies and Polls were all done in a simple text editor - often pico or nano in a Linux shell. Images were prepared using the GIMP and IrfanView.
In 2005, Grant began migrating the site to Drupal, an open source content management platform. Drupal provides a powerful open framework for developing sites that encourage community collaboration. Migration wasn't a straight forward process, there were
to be migrated from the old website to new Drupal modules.
A little more than a year later the current version of the website was launched in March 2006 - coinciding with the 8th anniversary of the site's inception.
In March 2008 Informed Technology sold their business and with very little time to put a solution in place, we were looking for a new home for the website. Adrian at Xenion was very helpful in setting up a virtual server (VM) for Grant but it was always going to be an underpowered temporary solution for what is a very, very busy site. (Just how underpowered would quickly become apparent!) Mark started out helping with the DNS transfer, then some tuning of the VM before finally offering his own VM as a database server to try and keep the site alive while a new server was sourced. A week later a second hand Dell 2650 was installed in the rack at the co-location. When it was switched on it took down the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and a rack full of servers. A couple of week's later Mark purchased a new server out of his own pocket and Grant agreed to pay for the rack space to get things running more reliably. Finally on 12 May the site was up and running on the new hardware. Mark collapsed in a tired heap, Grant smiled and Adrian looked on from the US and said that it was a good thing.
In case you hadn't noticed, this site was built entirely using Open Source, "free" software. So the next time you are tempted to fork out money for what looks like a fancy piece of software, think twice.
FAQ's in this section provide information relating to the Companies portion of this website.
In order to create events such as Productions, Auditions and Workshops, you need to have set up a Company, In order to set up a Company, you need to have registered as a User. It is a good idea to consider who will need access to your company page before creating it.
If you are the sole Company representative, and that is unlikely to change, then using your own personal User Login is probably OK. However, if you are just one in a line of Company Administrators, then creating a Generic Company Admin User may be more ideal.
For more details, see the attached PDF Tutorial.
Before you delete any company, please bear in mind that visitors may already have seen the company details and may return looking for the information you are wanting to delete.
It is often better to update the company details with a notice outlining the status of the company so that people aren't left searching for the vital news that the company is no longer in operation.
Duplicate companies can, and should, be deleted.
In order to delete an event:
If you have found a company with incorrect or out of date information, you are actively encouraged to update that company's information.
In order to edit a company, it's events and other associated information:
In order to request manager/admin access to a company:
If you are requesting membership for a company for which the default admin is currently the manager/admin, you may automatically be assigned company manager/admin access.Otherwise, your request will be emailed to the member currently listed as company manager/admin requesting that they provide you with manager/admin access.
If you don't receive a response to your request for manager/admin access within a few days, please notify us via the feedback form.
As a company "member" or "manager/admin", as long as you are logged in you will find a link to the company's page appears in your personal navigation area to the left of every page on the site. When you visit the company's page or any event belonging to the company, you will find the request membership link is replaced by links to add auditions, productions, etc.
Whether you're looking to promote your production, advertise auditions or capture an audience for your classes and workshops, there are a variety of ways you can use the free services on this website to promote your theatre company its activities and services.
You must be logged in, in order to add event details.
Firstly make sure that your company is registered. Look carefully as your company may be registered under a similar but slightly different name!
Your events will automatically appear in the various calendar views on the website and, within a few weeks of their occuring, will appear regularly in the featured event block.
You may also want to add details of your event to the relevant forum closer to the date.
Prior to March 2006, company entries were managed with a company password.
Multiple company passwords and personal logins and passwords caused considerable confusion.
Companies are now linked to one or more people registered on this site as managers/admins and members of that company. Your personal login and password can be linked to any number of companies with no additional passwords to remember!
In some cases we were able to match existing logins with companies, in which case you may find you already have manager/admin access for the company and that edit functionality together with the ability to add events to that company already appear when you visit the company's web page.
In other cases, we were not able to identify a login for manager/admin access and this has been assigned to an admin account awaiting your request for access.
You can request manager/admin access for any company.
Having a list of latest posts from Theatre Australia display in Facebook is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
All the latest posts fresh from Theatre Australia in Facebook!
From time to time, regulars and non-regulars discuss making changes on a large scale to this website, whether it be requiring registration to comment, style or formatting issues, etc. I am adding a list here of previous discussions so we can track what's said, who said it, and why. (These are not necessarily listed in any order, chronological or otherwise). If you find other threads, please add them.
This section of the FAQ answers common questions about members and membership.
The Casting Couch provides a tool for helping you to find that special combination of skills and attributes that may be required for your production.
The Casting Couch is only available to members who are logged in.
If your details aren't appearing in the Casting Couch, be sure to update your account with the appropriate information.
Please note that Casting Couch will not return results for any members that have indicated they may be less than 18 years of age.
Just a friendly reminder to all out there to watch your security. When creating an account, it is in your best interest to create a password that is not easy to guess. There are a number of things you can do the improve your chances here and they include;
Why do I post this? Well it would appear that someone has been trying guess peoples passwords, including mine, so I thought it a timely reminder.
Absit invidia (and DFT :nono:)
Looking for an Agent? Read this first!!
Deleting posts often causes confusion, it's usually a much better option to post a correction or retraction.
Deleting posts is only available to members with Editor status.
To delete a posted entry:
If you have forgotten your password or login, you can retrieve a fresh password.
In order to retrieve your password and/or login, you will need to know either your login OR the email address you with which your account is registered.
A new password will be sent to the email address you used when registering your account.
If you are not already logged in, a login box appears near the top left of the screen
Once you are logged, in the login box will disappear and your login name will appear in the title bar of the personal navigation block to the left of the screen.
If you attempt to login and the login box does not disappear but your login name appears in the Who Is Online box as an online user, you may have a corrupted "cookie".
If you are using Internet Explorer:
If you are using another web browser, you need to
If the problem persists please let us know via the feedback form.
Every time you post on this site, you earn points. The points will build up, and over time, you can earn administrative abilities to the site (like being a moderator).
There are different points given for different types of posts.
Membership, like all the services on this website is entirely FREE!
You may register here.
This website includes a great deal of functionality. Naturally, not all that functionality is available to all visitors. Instead, various roles have various levels of access to additional features on the site.
Follow the links below for information about each role.
Anonymous users are web visitors that don't login to the site. You'll sometimes find them referred to as Walter Plinge.
A fair amount of functionality is open to anonymous users including:
Authenticated users are web visitors that have a personal login for the site. Authenticated users are identified by a username or full name - that may or may not be their real name.
Authenticated users have access to all the functionality available to anonymous users plus a great deal more:
Members can earn contributor status by participating and contributing regularly.
This status will usually be assigned automatically after a month or so of regular valued contributions. If, for any reason, a contributor doesn't keep participating regularly, their status as a contributor may lapse - it can alsways be regained by participating more regularly!
Contributors have access to all the functionality available to anonymous users and authenticated users plus other great features:
Editors are usually appointed to assist with managing the content on the website.
Editors have the capacity to manage the following aspects of the website:
These are people that have requested and been approved as "manager/admin" of
the company registered on this website.
As "manager/admin", they are able to
add new events and other items to the company - as "company members" can.
Company manager/admins can also
There are directions for requesting manager/admin access to a company
Company manager/admins may determine by the policies they set when editing their company entry and managing memberships whether or not there is any relation between "company membership" and actual membership of the company.
These are people that have requested and been approved as "members" of the company registered on this website. As "members", they are able to add new events and other items to the company.
In order to request membership of a company, you must be logged in. Then
Who is Walter Plinge and why is he posting so much on this website?
Walter Plinge is a pseudonym often used by actors that don't wish to be credited in the billing or programme under their own name. George Spelvin is another similar pseudonym more frequently in use in american theatres. (Wikipedia article)
Some older items on this website that were posted by people that were not logged in at the time may appear as posted by Walter Plinge. It is also possible to participate in discussions anonymously, comments posted in this fashion will be attributed to Walter Plinge.
Popular sites and those that rank highly in search engines attract a lot of attention from spammers. As a consequence of its popularity, on an average day there may be anything between a couple of hundred and a couple of thousand attempts to post spam on this website. The attacks are usually made by armies of zombie PCs infected with viruses and directed by internet criminals.
Most attempts to post spam on this site are blocked before they even come close. Some come closer and very occasionally some spam will slip through the many layers of blocking and filtering that are in place.
If you spot some spam getting through onto our website, don't fret! It will usually be picked up by one of the contributors or editors and removed from publication very quickly. If you feel that the spam might have been missed, please copy the address of the page where you found the spam and paste it into the feedback form with a quick explanation.
Contributors and editors can mark items of information and comments as spam by clicking on the 'Mark as spam' link near the bottom of the item or comment. Items marked as spam will be reviewed by the administrator and may be re-published if incorrectly reported. Otherwise, they're deleted automatically.
Please do not use the moderation button to remove spam; it does not remove it from the site altogether, but rather 'hides' it. By using the moderation button, it makes it harder for editors of the site to remove it altogether.
I was going to post a big essay like thing about Trolls but the topic has been done so much across the net that I would only be repeating much of what has been said and done before. Instead of going into lengthy detail, here are some links.
However, believe it or not, I am here today to say thanks to Trolls, as well as to say an honest thanks all those wonderful people out there who continue to offer their support to Community Theatre in general.
As most if not all of the ITA Regulars, and not so regulars, may be aware, I and a number of other high volume contributors to the site have been regular targets for a number of Trolls, both registered and anon. I do not plan to speak for anyone else as to their personal experiences yet will relay what I have learnt.
The intention of Trolls have been to disrupt and destruct. I and the shows that I have been involved in have frequently attracted the attention of the ranks dissenters, their goal to somehow upset my apparent 'fragile' ego (which as anyone who knows me will tell you is firmly in place and would probably take a thermo-nuclear device to dislodge.) :LOL:
The results have been anything but! I have been cast snipes for my directorial work in "Quake" and "Quality Street", and my performances in "Geometry of Love", "The Venetian Twins" and "Romeo and Juliet" have had swings taken at them, as recent examples. I have had posts posing as legitimate anon users, which is actually repeating Trolls, yet the tell-tale-signs are always there. The arguments are without basis or blatantly false. They are personal and usually of no constructive value what-so-ever. Tripe.
Yet in all these instances, there has been one constant that has never failed; the sense of community spirit that erupts from the obvious and not so obvious sectors of the industry. My latest production of "Romeo and Juliet" is a prime example. We had additional audience members turning up based on the posts of a certain registered member (who decided to post anonymously for a change) just to see what the fuss was about. I was offered so many words of support and encouragement as a result of the attacks that I felt immensely proud to be a part of such a wonderful community. The show itself became a focus point for so many people who may have otherwise not paid it any attention.
Best of all, it made audience members seriously consider their own personal opinions of the show they saw, rather than walking away saying "Well that was fun", and it is was always cast in a far better light than that of the Troll. This is true for all the shows I have been a part of. Even though it was not the intent of the Troller, they actually assisted in promoting the show (and inadvertantly myself) to a more positive view. For this, I thank Trolls.
This is why, at the end of the day, it is best to either ignore a Troll or to treat them kindly and with sympathy. After all, as my personal experience has shown me, they are only digging a hole for themselves.
This message was brought to you by a "Hammy and Aging 'Actor'."
This site has a VERY TIGHT and COMPLEX SPAM catching tool with very nearly thousands of SPAM Filters currently in play. It doesn't catch all of them and we regularly update these filters to ensure that more are captured.
The trick is to develop filters that are able to distinguish between SPAM and Legit Postings. Sadly, and all to often, a Legit posting by one of you will trigger one of these many flags and your post will be marked as SPAM. In most cases, it will be stored away for later review by an Admin Officer. In other cases, it may be removed completely.
Where a comment has been automatically marked as SPAM, please DO NOT try posting again unless there is a really urgent requirement to get your post up. This only creates duplicate postings. In addition, and more importantly, with every comment flagged as SPAM, the system strengthens the SPAM filter that detected the posting. Duplicate postings that continue to be flagged as SPAM will only serve to increase the impact of the particular filter being flagged.
So, if you post a Topic, or a Comment, and are advised that the item has been flagged as SPAM, and that someone will review it, please rest assured that it will be reviewed in good time and if found to be legit (not SPAM), it will be published as intended.
Please do not attempt to repost items.
Speech is not free when it comes postage due. - Jim Nitchals
Rule #1: Spammers lie.
Rule #2: If a spammer seems to be telling the truth, see Rule #1.
The Rules of Spam
"I know! Believe me, I spend much more time here than you do and I hate waiting for pages to load when I'm trying to get things done. So, as you can imagine, I'm constantly looking for ways to make the site perform faster." Grant Malcolm, site admininstrator.
Why is the site so slow?
Every page is generated live including the very latest information available. This is usually very quick - under 2 seconds per page.
Sadly we've recently been under attack from an army of zombie PCs under the control of spammers and other internet criminals. Where we might normally expect to see 20-30 "guests" on the site at one time, we've recently had as many 4-5 times that number of guests as a result of this unwanted attention. This places a fair amount of load on the server and drags down the performance for everyone. Hopefully the attention of the spammers will soon pass elsewhere.
Is there anyway of making things faster?
If you are logged in as a member, yes. Edit your account settings and look for the section where you can select which blocks should be displayed down the sides of each page. Turn off any blocks you don't wish to display.
Many visitors to this website may be unaware of just how well frequented this website is. We regularly rank in the top 250,000 websites anywhere on the Internet.
This website's Hitwise Top 10 ranking:
The following table shows live Alexa traffic rankings for this website compared with other prominent (and not so prominent) australian and international theatre websites.
Essentially the lower the number the better. The traffic ranking shows where the site ranks against other sites around the world. Alexa traffic rankings are...
based on three months of aggregated historical traffic data from millions of Alexa Toolbar users and is a combined measure of page views and users (reach).
Australian arts and theatre websites
Sydney Theatre Company
Culture & Recreation Portal
Perth Theatre Company
Melbourne Theatre Company
Victorian Drama League
Adelaide Theatre Guide
Belvoir Street Theatre
International theatre websites
London Theatre Guide
American Association of Community Theatre
International Amateur Theatre Association
FAQ's in this section provide information relating to the What's On or events section of the website.
You should then:
Like all services on this site, What's On listings are free.
If you experience difficulties with the above steps, use the Feedback link to request assistance. Include as much detail as you can so that the Admin Officer can identify your requirements. Inlcude Links if possible.
Before you delete any event, please bear in mind that visitors may already have seen the event details and may return looking for the information you are wanting to delete.
Particularly where an event has been cancelled, it is often better to publish a correction so that these people aren't left searching for the vital news that the event has been cancelled.
In particular, please do not delete past events. These events constitute an important historical record; an archive that has been recognised by staff at the National Library of Australia. Past events will automatically be moved to the past events listing for your company.
However, duplicate events can, and should, be deleted.
In order to delete an event:
If you have found an event with incorrect or out of date information, you are actively encouraged to update that event's information.
In order to edit an event:
After submitting a new production and you realise you need to edit it. You will need to repeat the clear dates and enter your production dates again.
When specifying target audience in your check box list at the end of the submission page please only tick the one that is actually presenting it. Otherwise multiple entries of that production will list.
When entering your show information please select the appropriate state that show relates to. If it relates to the whole of Australia - fabulous... however if your show is only in VIC for example, there is nothing worse than someone selecting Productions in WA and seeing a listing for a show that says Australia and only relates to Melbourne.
Events - auditions, productions, classes and meetings - will only appear in relevant lists if they are associated with a company.
To associate an event with a company:
My personal apologies firstly as I thought I had posted something on this previously but I can't locate it now.
Some of our registered members may have noticed that some time after having posted a new thread (Review, Blog, Production, etc) it appears to vanish from the forums. More astute members have noticed that they do not so much disappear as have their last post date set to something very odd.
This is a known problem and is being looked at.
If you feel a posting of yours has "disappeared" in this way, then I would suggest the following solution;
Select My Account from the left hand menu, then select Track from the profile tabs, and finally click Last Post to change the sorting order. You will find your 'reset' threads here. You can reset the Last Post date by simply posting a comment to the thread.
The problem only occurs where a new thread has had all it's comments removed. As our site is hit by a high number of SPAM attempts, this happens occasionally as the SPAM comment gets removed automatically.
I have tried to recover as many as I can but a few will slip through.